It doesn’t matter what kind of platform you’re talking about, pretty much any developer ecosystem is DOA without third-party support. Android needs developers on the Play Store to thrive, just as much as Microsoft needs developers making games for the Xbox brand to survive. The next platform for Android is in the form of Google Assistant, and just like all its competitors, Assistant will only succeed if other developers board the ship.
Actions on Google is the developer platform for Google Assistant, which allows other developers to hook into the Assistant service. It was originally shown off in October, but now it’s officially starting to become available to certain developers. You can already build conversation actions for Google Home, and there’s a request form to get into early access of upcoming features.
The conversation piece of Actions on Google will allow other apps to interact with Assistant in a natural, conversational way. Instead of the stiff virtual assistant lingo we’re used to, now you can have a conversation with Google Assistant to access your favorite apps and services. It’s a brand new feature, so don’t expect everything to jump in immediately, but Google has already provided plenty of examples, resources, and documentation to get things going.
In the future, you can expect to see these Actions make their way to Pixel and Allo directly, skipping Google Home entirely. The experience will no doubt be better on Home, but it’s exciting to see Assistant grow on every possible platform. And maybe it’ll even bring back some enthusiasm for Allo.