Why I'm not excited about Google Assistant

As a geek, I’m excited about the cool tech of the Google Assistant. As a user, I’m frustrated and disappointed.

Localizing Assistant products and features is significantly more complex than translating user interface text and documentation. It requires major development work on core functionality relying on language processing and machine learning. This delays the release of new products and features to countries outside of USA or languages other than English.

By the time an Assistant feature rolls out to Italy where I live, years later and often incomplete, I long forgot about it and don't give it a try.

Even when Assistant features do arrive in Italy, using them is frustrating. My Google Home Mini smart speaker may not understand me or can't do what I want, which happens sufficiently often to discourage further use. Also, potentially useful voice commands have little or no discoverability.

I end up rarely using the Assistant, and only for trivial tasks such as setting alarms or getting weather forecasts.


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