Jan 17, 2017
It looks like Google wants to make Google Assistant even more useful. How? By allowing users to pay for things simply by using their voice — according to an updated version of the Google App, anyway.
The new functionality was found through a string of code found in the beta Google App version 6.11.13 — however, according to a report from XDA Developers, bits of code were found before this that alluded to the existence of the new feature.
A particular string that can be seen in the Google App says that “you’ll soon be able to pay for things” under the Google Assistant options, suggesting that while the service may not be live just yet, it’s certainly on its way. It also seems as though you’ll be able to specify which devices can access payments through Assistant, so that, for example, if you don’t want Google Home to have the access you don’t have to give it access.
As part of the new option, you’ll need to specify a delivery address for your belongings, and the billing and shipping address all seem to be handled through the Google API.
The XDA Developers report also indicates that the feature is at least somewhat baked into the Google Assistant APK, so it could be on its way to users very soon. In other words, the feature could already exist in the Google App, but Google could be waiting to flip the switch to turn it on until it has finished off development on its end.
Google Assistant certainly is becoming more and more useful — and adding payment functionality certainly would help make it more competitive with Amazon’s Alexa, which has been focused on online shopping and mobile payments since it first launched.