When it unveiled the most sophisticated Assistant feature ever created last year, Google made quite a few waves. Google Duplex, which lets you instruct the Assistant to make calls on your behalf, looked like a sci-fi marvel that was also kind of creepy. Not to mention that the first demo of Duplex wasn’t even a live one, prompting speculation that the technology isn’t quite there yet. But Google made some progress since then, addressing concerns in the process. Fast forward to March 2019, and Duplex is now available in some 43 states. And Google plans to further expand Duplex to more Android devices, as well as the iPhone.
Google explained in a blog post that Google Duplex will be available on Pixel phones in more states. It’s unclear why only 43 states are supported at this time, but Google plans to bring the feature to more Android and iOS devices in the coming weeks.
What Duplex lets you do is to make reservations without actually talking to the restaurant you’ve chosen. Google Assistant handles everything once you issue your command. The assistant makes the phone call, and once the reservation is successful, you’ll get a notification on your phone, an email update, and a calendar invite.
All you have to do for that magic to happen is tell your phone something along the lines of “Book a table for four people at [restaurant name] tomorrow night.” The video at the end of this post shows a demo of Duplex in action.
If you own a restaurant but don’t want to handle automated Google Assistant calls, you can opt out of the service — more information is at this link, including details about how Google Duplex calls are placed and the states where the service is now available.
What you need to know is that the Assistant will always identify itself when making a call, and the calls will be recorded.