Recently, Google has been adding updates to boost functionality and features on the Google Assistant. Last month, we saw the Xbox One being integrated with the virtual assistant. Similarly, new Assistant voices in nine different languages were rolled out in the same month. Today, the tech giant has added to the growing roster by announcing a feature dubbed Action Blocks.
With Actions Blocks for Google Assistant, the users will now be able to add shortcuts to their Android device's home screen. The shortcuts can be for anything, as long as it is supported by Google Assistant.
For example, with the tap of a button, you can control your smart lights, call a friend, share your location, navigate to a chosen location, or just have Google Assistant read you a bedtime story.
With this addition, Google is aiming to make the Assistant more accessible to people with cognitive disabilities. That is the reason for the large target size of the shortcut, which can also be set to a custom image thereby helping disabled users interact with it by providing visual cues. However, while it is geared towards accessibility, Action Blocks might improve general convenience for the Assistant as well.
Google has detailed that the feature is still in its testing stages as of right now. However, there is a Trusted Tester program for the company's products and features like these. You can try out Action Blocks in case "you’re the caregiver or family member of someone with a cognitive disability that could benefit". Here's the link to the registration form for the program.