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Google Assistant nears 1 billion installs as usage quadruples

Google Assistant nears 1 billion installs as usage quadruples
[Photo: Charles Deluvio/Unsplash]

People are using Google Assistant a lot more often as it becomes more readily available. By the end of January, Google expects its voice assistant to be running on 1 billion devices, up from 400 million a year ago. Google also says that active users–both monthly and daily–have quadrupled over the last year, though the company won’t say how many people are using Google Assistant regularly.

“This is really showing that the Assistant is available across the devices that really matter to you,” says Nick Fox, Google’s head of product and design for Search and Assistant. “And beyond that, the Assistant is being quite heavily used across these devices as well.”

Fox declined to break down where those users are coming from, but the growth probably has a lot to do with expanding support for different languages and older Android devices. Over the last year, Google has added support for 22 new languages and 66 more countries, bringing the total to 30 languages and 80 countries. In December 2017, Google also started rolling out Assistant to Android tablets and to phones running Android 5.0 Lollipop, a four-year-old operating system that still makes up 18% of Android device usage. Google Assistant is also shipping on millions of Google Home speakers every quarter.

The chest-beating comes just before the Consumer Electronics Show, where both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa will have a major presence on other companies’ TVs, speakers, smart home devices, and other gadgets.

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