A layperson’s exploration of all things voice

May 14, 2019

Google Bets on Mobile for Voice Growth

This “voicebot.ai” piece recaps how Google seems to be betting on mobile as where a lot of voice interactions will take place going forward. Here’s an excerpt:

This is an interesting development in the Google Assistant ecosystem. As Google Assistant matures on Android, there is the gravity pull of millions of Android apps and developers committed to the platform. There is also the fact that Google on its most recent count had only accumulated about 4,200 Actions in the U.S. and presumably a far lower number in other countries. This slow growth threatens to create a perception of tepid Assistant support by developers. However, if a lot of developers begin adding Assistant features to their Android apps, then the value and reach will accelerate quickly.

The focus on the phone tells you where Google thinks the near-term platform growth will come from. There are over 1 billion devices with Google Assistant. Of those, there are very likely fewer than 100 million voice-first devices such as smart speakers. And, there are now 2.5 billion active Android smartphone users. So, Google can see the growth for Assistant in the near-term will be on mobile provided there are useful features that take advantage of it.