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Google app replacing Assistant’s ‘What can you do?’ section

The Google Assistant can do a lot, with the company touting “over 1 million actions to try.” Since launch, one way to find out the smart assistant’s capabilities was by viewing the aptly named “What can you do?” section. However, in recent days, Google has removed and swapped that help screen out.

“What can you do?” is accessible from the Google app’s settings located just underneath the Assistant’s options menu. Noting the “things your Assistant can do” on each platform — Phone, Google Home, and Wear OS — it is followed by a long exhaustive list of first and some third-party abilities. With dozens of sections, users can expand to see exact commands they can speak to Assistant.

In recent days, “What can you do?” has been replaced by the existing “Explore” feature in Google app settings. Widely rolled out on the latest Google app 8.0 beta, this is the same Explore accessible in the top-right corner of every Assistant pane.

What can you do?

The move makes sense given how I’ve noticed in recent weeks that Explore is surfacing many Action listings for built-in Assistant functionality like first-party weather, playing podcasts, and unit conversions. Meanwhile, to replace the platform picker in the old page, every Assistant page has long had an “Availability” section.

While there’s no way to filter Actions explicitly by platform, it’s a fine solution for most users and better than confusing them with duplicative help pages. Users can also of course ask Assistant directly “What can you do?” to see a similar carousel of capabilities.

There are still remnants of “What can you do?” through the Wear OS companion app, but it should be mostly deprecated.


Dylan contributed to this article

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: