Google is introducing quality guidelines and more Assistant devices

Google is introducing quality guidelines and more Assistant devices to ensure that you as a user can count on reliable replies

In a new one blog post Google announces that manufacturers of smart home devices that use the Assistant will have to deal with new guidelines. It concerns the so-called Actions that third-party manufacturers add to the voice assistant’s arsenal.

Google adds guidelines

Google wants to ensure that you as a user can count on reliable replies that are given quickly when you ask something from the Assistant on your smartphone, a smart display or a smart speaker.

That is why the company now stipulates that responding to a question or request may take a minimum amount of time. It does not matter what type of device it is. In order to do that, all devices must have a constant connection to the internet. This connection takes place via a hub or via the device itself.

There are also components that are mandatory and components that are recommended. For example, air conditioners should be able to be switched on and off with a voice, while Google recommends that users should also be able to adjust the wind speed by means of a voice command.

By implementing these within an Action, developers can ensure their end users can trigger devices in a consistent manner and access the full range of device capabilities. To assist you in ensuring your Action is compliant with the updated policy, the Test Suite testing tool will now more clearly flag any device type or trait issues.

Safety and security

In terms of safety and security, secondary user authentication must be in place, for sensitive Actions that can open a door, for example.

Once configured with a secondary verification method, developers can provide users a way to opt out of this flow. For any developer wishing to include an opt-out selection to their customers, we have provided a warning message template to ensure users understand the security implications for turning this feature off.

In addition, kitchen appliances must also provide an extra layer of security, as the use of such appliances carries a risk.

If manufacturers want the Works with Google badge on their packaging, they must meet the new requirements and guidelines. If this is not the case, the badge must be removed from the packaging before the end of 2021. The new guidelines will take effect on April 12.

With the roll-out today, there will be a 1 month grace period for developers to update new integrations to match the new policy requirements. For Actions currently deployed to production, compliance will be evaluated when the Action is recertified. Once integrations have been certified and launched to production, Actions will need to be recertified annually, or any time new devices or device functionality is added to the Action.