Google’s largest event of the year, Google I/O 2016, started with a presentation of the new Google Assistant, a conversational assistant embedded within Android and the new Google Home smart speaker, which was also one of the highlights of yesterday’s event.

Truth be told, Google Assistant seems to be an upgrade from Google Now, but it does bring so much more to the table. Users can receive answers to their questions and Google uses AI machine learning to analyze multiple questions and return the right answer.

The new functionality is already integrated into the new messaging application Allo and Google Home, which is basically Google’s response to Amazon Echo. Allo uses Google Assistant in order to provide smart replies or automatically search for information online, so the user can send it in a reply to a conversation.

A competitor to Siri, Alexa and Cortana

Google Assistant allows users to make queries and get the right answer, even after asking multiple questions. It provides AI-powered services, making it a strong competitor against Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. Google Assistant will also be able to execute certain tasks, like changing reservation times or setting calendar reminders, without the user having to open specific apps for that.

Unlike Siri or even Microsoft’s Cortana, Google adopted a rather different business strategy for the virtual assistant, in the sense that it didn’t provide it with a catchy name. The company decided to use the Google brand popularity and awareness, rather than creating an actual assistant with personality, which some people like.

During the event, Google also unveiled Google Home, which incorporates the voice-recognition interface for Google Assistant. Home will be a system that allows users to get answers to questions, set alarms, tasks, keep track of reservations, travels plans and even control other smart accessories. It will be available on Android and iOS devices starting this fall.

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