Google's decision to respond to Alexa's dominance of CES 2017 marks a shift in its narrative, suggesting a more aggressive promotion of assistant services could be coming. More than two-thirds of smart speaker owners report having an Echo, Dot, or other Alexa-based product.
On the show floor, it smoothly scrolled through demo applications popping up info in ways we're used to seeing on our phones or through Android Auto.
Sony and Lenovo Group have also unveiled Google Assistant-equipped products. It should be noted that YouTube support has been removed from Amazon Echo Show devices. The company will also roll out Assistant to more Android TVs including AirTV Player, Bouygues Telecom, LG U+, TCL, Skyworth and Xiaomi. Someone, it seems, forgot to ask the Assistant for a weather forecast in CES week, and torrential rains on Tuesday forced the Google tent - which proved not to be waterproof in several places - to close. The main screen will display your Google Photos images, but more experiences will likely be added.
This is why devices they make themselves are still important, and why Google is reportedly planning to launch an overhauled store to sell its own gadgets.
While on the road with a connection to the Internet, Alexa can provide directions, the news, access audio books, adjust smart home settings or a number of other voice-command tasks.
The only possible competitor to Alexa at this point is Google Home, but Alexa has a huge lead: over 4,000 devices can now be controlled by Alexa, the company said, while Google's total is around 1,500. One of the biggest highlights in my opinion, though, is the ability to make calls on Google Duo, something that's just getting easier and easier. When playing the Lucky Trivia game, for example, the Assistant will show the questions and multiple choice options on screen accompanied by bright and fun visuals. Not much more is known about the specifications of the LG ThinQ WK9, and the official product page on the LG page redirects to a blank space when you click on "Tech Specs".