Supposedly Google's Majel will be called Google Assistant
It looks like Google's next iteration of its voice command software is starting to take shape. TechCrunch is reporting that the product may have shed its codename "Majel" in favor of an official name: Google Assistant. This is especially interesting given that Android chief Andy Rubin, notoriously said that he doesn't "believe your phone should be an assistant".
Another interesting thing is that TechCrunch is reporting that Google Assistant is now in the hands of the Android team (along with search engineer Amit Singhal) not the mysterious Google X project, which is where Majel had lived. Word has it that Google has been building this product with three goals in mind:
- Gather all information and make it understandable by computers.
- Create a personalization layer
- Build a mobile, voice-powered productivity engine, which is focused less on finding information and more on getting things done
All of this sounds pretty logical. The current voice controls from Google are mainly focused on finding info or communication, so adding in more productivity tools makes sense. The personalization layer is the "plussification" of everything Google that we've been seeing, which is an effort to gather more individual and local data. And, the first goal seems like that has been one of the overarching goals of Google since before it was even called Google.
Of course, many will call this nothing more than a Siri competitor, but as always, there is the Google openness to consider. Word has it that Google is planning to "extend this service to developers" just like it has with its current voice control app. So, there will likely be APIs allowing developers to hook into the Assistant platform, and just like the current voice control, we may even see a number of third party apps built on top of Google's software.
The bad news is that the newest info has this product not being released until Q4 of this year.