Google Assistant on certain Google Home devices (Android 6.0 Marshmallow and up) can now speak and understand Spanish.
The update comes on the heels of Google Home’s product launch in Spain last week and coincides with its rollout in Mexico today. The inclusion of Spanish more than doubles the previous consumer market for Google Home devices, since it is the second most commonly spoken language in the world after Chinese (which the device still cannot speak or understand).
Google has recently made a large push into consumer-friendly artificial intelligence technology, and Google Assistant has been spearheading this effort for Google. Google Duplex, a tool that can make appointments for people, is slated to begin being tested within Google Assistant this summer.
And just last week, the tech giant announced that users can now hold sustained conversations with the device — without having to say the commands “hey Google” or “okay Google” for each request.
It is unclear whether these functions will be available for people using the tool in Spanish, but this is novel in that Google Assistant is the first smart speaker to understand Spanish. This is its first language besides English (and various English accents) that Google Assistant can understand.
But that makes it behind in language fluencies compared to its multilingual counterparts.
Amazon’s Echo can already speak English, German, and Japanese, and Apple announced early this year that its HomePod would begin speaking French and German in the spring (though Google Assistant actually beat the HomePod, since summer started June 21, and Siri remains monolingual).
Rumors have circulated about the HomePod possibly launching in Japanese, English, French, and German, since it posted a new support document without fanfare that said it used all those languages.