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Google Assistant adds new WhatsApp integrations



According to Statista, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world, although it is the third in the United States. No matter how you slice it, the Facebook-owned app is extremely popular. And so is Google Assistant. The virtual digital assistant can send text messages through WhatsApp (just say "O.K. Google, send WhatsApp message") which comes in handy if you send a message you want to encrypt. The recipient of the message must of course be a WhatsApp member.
But suppose you want to make a video or voice call using Assistant? It used to be that video calls automatically went through the Duo or even Hangouts. Voice calls simply go through the operator's network. But as we pointed out, WhatsApp has a lot of drag. Remember that Facebook paid $ 21
billion for the messaging app in a deal that ended in 2014. So today, Google announced that Assistant will now make calls and video calls through the WhatsApp Android app.

To call a video via WhatsApp, you could say "Hi Google, WhatsApp video John." Google didn't say how to start a voice call, but we would guess it would go something like "Hi Google, WhatsApp is calling John." Unfortunately, Google does not go into details about this with today's announcement, and neither WhatsApp video calls nor voice calls worked for us. It may be that Google jumped the gun and dropped the cat out of the bag too soon, or the new WhatsApp integrations are slowly rolling out to Android phones. Regardless, it's the small touches like this that make Google Assistant the most useful of smartphone-based virtual helpers.


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