I will give you some context before we get started. A few weeks before Google I/O 2019, 9to5Google reported that Google will demo Assistant for web (aka Chrome!) at the conference. And they did. You can watch the demo here.
Now, for Assistant to do web actions, it should use a browser, correct? There is this famous web browser called Chrome on Android. It could use that. For that to happen, however, Chrome should be able to listen to the Assistant or voice commands in general, correct?
If Chrome can follow Assistant’s instructions, it becomes easy for Google to program a set of actions triggered by a command and get things done on the web.
I am making a wild guess here, mostly, but stay with me.
DirectActions is a new API added to Android Q. Here is the official description of what is:
Represents an abstract action that can be performed on this app. This is requested from outside the app’s UI (eg by SystemUI or assistant). The semantics of these actions are not specified by the OS. This allows open-ended and scalable approach for defining how an app interacts with components that expose alternative interaction models to the user such as the assistant, SystemUI, etc
“This app” here means whichever app that this is integrated with. So, there are actions that the app can perform, and these actions can be triggered by System UI or Assistant.
What are such actions on Chrome? Let me help you. Look at these bits and pieces that I found in the code today.
The code commit talks about “Add initial support for for Direct Actions under Android Q.” Here you go:
I could be wrong about Chrome’s autofill being Assistant on the web. However, these code bits clearly demonstrate that we will soon be able to use the Assistant to interact with Chrome
Android Q is still a work-in-progress and this is a fairly new API added to the platform. It might be too early to expect something workin on Chrome soon. They might even keep most of it internal until it is ready for beta testing. However, this is a really interesting piece of Chrome development to watch out for.
Subscribe to my blog and maybe even the YouTube channel, for updates.