Following the launch of Google Assistant in Hindi on the smartphone earlier this year, Google Home, the Internet connected speaker which also has the assistant, will now also work with Hindi. It has probably taken this long for the service to be made available in Hindi because Google was training the Assistant based on how people used it in Hindi via their smartphones.
Users who have Google Home need to go through the complicated process of opening the (revamped and quite busy) Google Home app on their phone, tapping the account option, going to settings, preferences and assistant languages to change the language. Google’s instructions on its own blog post (App –> Account –> Settings –> Assistant tab –> languages) seem inaccurate.
Google really needs to make this app easier to use, and frankly, one shouldn’t need to open an app to change language preferences. Changes in settings, such as language changes, should be voice enabled. As long as the dependence on an English app remains, Google Home users who don’t understand English will depend on bilingual/English speaking users for assistance.
I tried the Google Assistant in Hindi, and it works quite well: I just got a lowdown on my day in Hindi. When I requested “आज की खबर बताओ”, the news was read out to me in English, probably based on my existing news preferences. I don’t really use that feature often, though. It takes less time to skim the headlines than hear them.
Note that according to Google’s announcement, one can’t use the Assistant in both English and Hindi. However, I was able to use both languages. Perhaps that might be because my device wasn’t purchased in India. This is strange.
Google has failed to integrate Assistant to work with G Suite applications on the Google Home yet. Assistant works perfectly well with G Suite apps on the smartphone, but not on the connected devices.