Google Assistant launched another ten actions yesterday. The new batch includes a digital sommelier with My Wine Guide, which can answer questions about what wine pairs best with what you’re about to eat, and Dr. Doggy, which can answer questions about what foods are safe for your dog.
These new actions sound useful, but Google Home still has a way to go before its even in the same league as Alexa with over 8,000 skills. Google’s new batch of actions brings its total to around 75, or less than 1/100th of what Amazon’s Echo has to offer. However, Amazon did get a big head start. The Actions on Google platform debuted just two months ago. It took Amazon five months to get 130 skills. At this current pace, Google will have over 150 for the same time period. Amazon may have a larger number of skills, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to a great user experience. According to a recent study by VoiceLabs, only 3% of voice applications are activated by a user the week after their initial use.
It could be that Google is aiming for quality over quantity, but there are some other factors. Amazon didn’t introduce “skills” until a year after the Echo was launched offering them more time to put a developer infrastructure in place. Google had actions within two months of Assistant and Home becoming available. There is also some additional complexity behind building Actions in the Google model. For now, it’s fair to say Google Actions are on the same trajectory as Amazon’s Alexa skills. Over the next few months we expect the pattern to slightly exceed the Alexa skill growth rate from 2016, though it is likely to trail Amazon’s current rate of nearly 2,000 skills per month.