Google Assistant would soon be able to read and reply to WhatsApp messages. The upcoming feature would also be expanded to other non-Google apps like Telegram, Slack, Discord, etc.
Currently, Google Assistant message reading is limited to the native SMS and Google Hangouts app. An AndroidPolice report suggests that Google has started rolling out an update for reading and even replying to messages on the above mentioned third-party apps.
The feature works after a user say ‘read my messages’ to the Assistant. If a user has not done so in the past, they would be asked for permissions and access to notifications as well.
Once the permission is granted, a card with the text message pops up, and the Assistant starts reading it. The Assistant also reads the name of the sender and the app the message came from.
The feature also allows users to type or dictate a reply to the sender. When done, the reply is sent, and the message is marked as read. The function works even if there are multiple unread messages. Google Assistant would open a carousel of unread messages and go through them one by one.
The feature has started rolling out to a few devices. Currently, it is unknown to how many devices or Android versions would the service be enabled. The reading and replying capabilities are also limited to English only.
Lastly, the feature does not play any kind of audio or video attachment in a message.
Notably, message reading and replying capabilities are already available on Google Assistant’s rival, Siri, since 2016.
While this may remind most of us of Iron Man’s assistant Jarvis from the movie, the feature could also raise questions of privacy, encryption standards and messages passed between the users. Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro and gain access to curated markets data, exclusive trading recommendations, independent equity analysis, actionable investment ideas, nuanced takes on macro, corporate and policy actions, practical insights from market gurus and much more.