Google shared on Monday that by month’s end Assistant will be available on 1 billion devices like Android and smart home devices. Today, the company is kicking off CES 2019 with new features for Assistant on phones, including flight check-in, hotel bookings, and expanded lockscreen access.
Checking-in for a flight usually involves going to the airline’s website 24 hours before takeoff and remembering your confirmation number. Assistant already provides useful departure updates, but it will soon be able to automate that entire boarding workflow and reduce user hassle.
“Hey Google, check in to my flight” will begin the process entirely in Assistant and can ask if you have any checked bags. Once complete, “Hey Google, show me my boarding pass” will work at the gate to board the plane.
United Airlines in the U.S. will be the first to support this feature on domestic flights. It works by looking for confirmation messages in Gmail, and sending users an Assistant-branded reminder to check-in when time. Google will expand this feature to more airlines and flights soon.
Meanwhile, Assistant can now book a room of users specify the hotel, city, and dates. Google will surface room availability and pricing, with existing Google Pay credentials used to complete the booking. This feature is currently live in the U.S. on both Android and iOS.
We’re working with a range of companies to enable fast, simple hotel bookings, from hotels like Choice Hotels, AccorHotels and InterContinental Hotels Group to online travel agencies and partners such as Priceline, Expedia, Mirai and Travelclick – an Amadeus company.
Lastly, Google is expanding Assistant’s ability to recognize users even when their phone is locked and provide personalized responses, like calendar appointments and traffic updates. This includes showing nearby restaurants, creating alarms, reminders, and timers. At the moment, this is limited to the Pixel, but expanding to all Android devices in the coming weeks.
We previously detailed how Google is deprecating Voice Match’s ability to directly unlock your device and replacing it with this Assistant-only access.
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