Develop Your First App/Action for Google Assistant

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We all have heard about Google Assistant and a related news about Google Duplex, which will be released any time soon. You might have heard about Google Home, Home Mini and Home Max.

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Google Home Mini, Home Max and Google Home

Most of us use it to get some content searched on Google easily, or to set alarms, reminders, etc. Some others use Google Assistant (to be referred as GA from here on) to use the contents such as story teller, score checker, etc.

But, do you know that even a small child can build an App/Action for GA?

Yes, even a small child who knows to use his computer/mobile can build actions for GA. And the best part is that, you don’t need to know, any programming language. My journey to build some cool apps started off when I reached this website, https://developers.google.com/actions/community/overview .

It’s super cool :) to have our apps on GA, and it brings a lot of happiness when I see other’s using my app on GA. More over, Google provides us with some cool perks when we help them bu building apps for them.

This video provides some information about it, https://youtu.be/ua4QGWmDfB8 . But I will mention some of the perks here.

When we just get our app published on Google Assistant, we will receive a cool T-shirt from Google, which has got the logo of GA.

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T-shirt offered for publishing first app

Along with that, we will receive a $200 monthly cloud credit for 12 months. This to scale up our app using Google cloud. We will also get access to the Google Assistant Community which has a lot more benefits. These are some of the start-up perks offered.

This is what I got recently :)

There are lot more cool perks if our app reaches a particular milestones. These milestones are, Getting Initial Traction ( To reach this milestone, however, you need to get noticed by a good number of users, not the few hundreds in your social circle. You should go Big), Keeping Users Engaged (This simply means that, a god number of users should come back to use your app again and again) and finally, Taking your app Global ( If you make your app available in two languages (one of which should be a non-English variant) and a minimum amount of users should engage with it in both languages). These are the three important milestones.

If any of your app reaches any of this milestone, You’ll receive an invitation to join the Google Group which is the community program of Google Developers . There, they will send group member-only invites to meet and talk with Google’s experts either through Hangouts or small intimate events around the world.

In addition to that, Google will also send you a Google Home device for free. This to make the testing and developing of Google apps easier for you. Isn’t that cool?

And for every one of our app that reaches at least one of the above listed three milestones, you will unlock some additional perks and support elements.

For the next year, reviews for the app (to newer versions) will be accelerated and will have a one-time opportunity to ask and receive custom, detailed feedback on how you can continue to improve your app.The app will be shared with GA’s global marketing team, to be considered for relevant promotional opportunities.

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(These are really cool. Isn’t it? But I’m really waiting for the Google Group invitation).

Now, coming to development of actions/apps for GA. This is a really easy thing (*Easy if you have interest. If you’re doing it for the perks, then you will find this a little tougher.)

An Overview on How to Create an App/Action

Google Assistant Developer Console (called Actions Console) offers us with two different methods to develop an app. One is by using templates (which includes flash cards, trivia and personality quiz.

You can create an app with the above templates within half an hour. When you select the template option, you will be provided with a pre-built Google Spreadsheet. You just have to edit the spreadsheet and submit it. In addition to that, you have to fill in details such as more details about what the app is, and other things. You have to include Invocation name which invokes your action (a bit lengthy to explain). While this takes place, you can test your app by saying “Talk to my Test App” to your GA (same google assistant should be used). Then you have to create a website which provides details about the privacy policy (Don’t worry, the content will be provided and you just have to replace it with your app’s name and your name). It will just take around 2 minutes to create and publish this website using Google sites. Now, you have to submit your app for review.

The app/action is now built. The review will take around 2–4 days. If everything is done correctly, your app will be published to GA and it will reach nearly 500 Million devices (Mobile phones with Google Assistant, Google Home devices and other speakers which has Google Assistant integrated with it). Now you have built an app for Google Assistant.

Another method is using Dialogflow. It is a Google-owned development tool for human-computer-interaction, a technology based on natural language processing. Earlier it was known as API.AI. This thing is a little complex and I will discuss about it later.

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This is it. It’s this simple to create Apps/Actions for Google Assistant.

There are also, a lot of competitions held by Google Developers or those who develop actions for Google Assistant. The prize for the winner is $10000 cash prize, an invite for the upcoming year’s I/O and a full expense paid trip (tour) to Googleplex (in Mountain View, California). There are a lot more prizes also.

You can get more details here https://developers.google.com/actions/

I will try my best to create posts on How to Build actions for Google Assistant in detail, in the coming days.

Till then you can use some of my apps. The invocation names are mentioned here. So, open your Google Assistant app and tell this,

  1. IPL Quiz- Talk to IPL Quiz
  2. Mind Reading Wizard- Talk to Mind Reading Wizard.

I hope that, you liked this post. I’m sorry for making this long. Share this with others. Let them also build some amazing actions for Google Assistant. All the Best. Now try it yourselves. Get started here: https://developers.google.com/actions/community/overview

Update- 28/07/2018

The second part, Developing actions for Google Assistant using templates is ready and you can access it here: https://medium.com/@aravindvenugopal02/building-actions-for-google-assistant-using-templates-31319402fff8
I have tried to include each and every step in the article. If you find anything missing, or would like to contact me for help, write an e-mail to aravindvenugopal1444@gmail.com. 😊😊😊

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Java Developer | Flutter Developer | Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador | Intel Software Innovator

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