Google Assistant closes in on a massive milestone

Today, Google has decided to celebrate a big milestone a little early. According to the big G, Google Assistant will soon be on one billion devices around the world. It isn't there quite yet, but Google anticipates that it will be by the end of this month.

That's up from 500 million devices in May, so once this milestone is met at some point in the near future, the number of Google Assistant-supporting devices will have doubled in less than a year. That's pretty impressive, but of course, Google has Android to thank for this achievement. Were it not for those Android phones and tablets, the number of devices compatible with Google Assistant would be much lower.

In fact, Google Assistant vice president Manuel Bronstein concedes in an interview with The Verge that Android phones make up "the vast majority" of devices running the AI assistant. Obviously, there's also Google's line of smart speakers contributing to the overall figure as well, and Bronstein says the number of Google Home devices in the wild is on the rise.

Google won't need to rely on Android and Google Home to pull more people to Google Assistant forever, though, as Bronstein says that Google has plans to look to emerging markets for further Google Assistant integration. First on the list is feature phones, believe it or not – Google thinks that there's the potential for the Assistant to make things like typing easier on those phones, despite their limited capabilities.

In a blog post announcing this milestone, Google also boasted that the number of active Google Assistant users quadrupled throughout 2018, but as The Verge points out, that isn't a very useful statistic because we don't know how many active users Google Assistant started the year with.

Still, one billion devices supporting Google Assistant is a big achievement for the company any way you slice it, and it'll be interesting to see where Google Assistant goes from here, but in the meantime, we're told to standby for more Google Assistant announcements coming tomorrow at CES. Stay tuned.