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The Google Home Mini, Google's tiny Assistant-enabled smart speaker.
The Google Home Mini, Google’s tiny Assistant-enabled smart speaker.

Image: karissa bell/mashable

Google’s annual I/O developer conference is almost upon us, and the company is already dropping announcements left and right. 

Today, we’ve learned that Google Assistant, the virtual friend who powers your Google Home, is now compatible with over 5,000 smart devices. That’s a huge increase from the 1,500 it supported at the beginning of 2018. 

“The Assistant now supports essentially all the major brands,” Google VP of Assistant and Search Nick Fox told Engadget. Google did not immediately respond to a request for further comment. 

If you’re a Google diehard, the large array of Assistant options will make it much easier to expand your smart home. Google Assistant now powers everything from doorbells and deadbolts to coffee makers and TVs. 

Google Assistant’s current smart-home partners include such big players as TP-Link, Harmony, Nest, and Philips. Upcoming partnerships include Dish, ADT, Schlange, Panasonic, Ikea, and First Alert.

And the new partnerships are more fodder against Google Assistant’s long-time rival, Amazon Alexa. 

The voice assistant that wins the smart home battle will probably be here to stay. Replacing an entire smart home is a more cumbersome task than buying a new phone or computer. 

So if Google wants to win its war with Alexa, it’s not enough for it to eventually become compatible with every smart home product you might want. It needs to be the first voice assistant to do that. 

At the beginning of this year, when it came to both integrations and sales, Alexa was outpacing Google Assistant by a wide margin — in 2017, it was estimated to be compatible with over 11,000 devices. 

And though Google hasn’t yet closed this gap, it’s certainly catching up. 

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