Google doesn’t make things very easy for us to explain or for users to understand. For example, while Google Assistant can speak English, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish in Allo, it can only speak US English on Android phones but it can talk in different English dialects plus German on Pixel devices. Oh and it supports English, French, and German on Google Home. To make matters even worse, the third-party developer branch of Assistant, Actions on Google, only works in US English now but Google is implementing more languages and we already know British English will be supported next.
Look at the article’s top screenshot. The “Actions on Google” developer console is now showing a language selector with options for French, German, Italian, and Japanese. It is interesting because it brings us hope of some gap bridging between all of Assistant’s platforms. Granted, all the languages are still greyed out, but there’s something to glean from them.
First, it’s that third-party developer actions — you know the “services” like Logitech and LG appliances that currently only work on Home but are promised to come to phones too — will indeed add support for more languages soon, so you no longer feel restrained with what you can do with Home if you’ve bought one in France or Germany for example. Second, it’s that Japanese should de facto thus come to Google Home, which isn’t surprising because we knew Home would launch in Japan.
Third, and perhaps more intriguingly, is the presence of Italian in the list. You might have noticed, from the introduction, that Italian isn’t supported in any current iteration of Assistant — Google did announce at I/O that it was coming to Assistant by the end of the year, but this is the first time we’ve seen any signs of that. Given that it will be coming to Actions on Google and these are just services in Assistant, that means Assistant will be able to speak Italian too. And maybe it’s a sign of Home officially launching in Italy too.
Only time will tell, so we’ll keep our eyes open for any changes and let you know. We also promise to always scold Google for the mess it has made of Assistant and its support on different devices and languages.