Facing stiff competition from Amazon, Apple, and arguably Samsung as well, Google has finally added a useful feature to its assistant that has been available for quite some time on other platforms. Google Assistant can now tell you what song is playing simply by asking it.
Going all the way back to 2002, Shazam was the first major company to identify music via sampling. The service originally required a phone call to be made so that up to 30 seconds of music could be heard. A few years and several revisions later, it is now 2008. The second iPhone brought along Shazam for iOS with an Android version also launching shortly thereafter. Just don't ask about classical music yet since it couldn't be easily identified at this time.
Fast forward to 2014 and now ask Siri on an iPhone 4S what song is playing and she can probably tell you---unless you are listening to a new indie artist. If you were an Amazon Prime subscriber, you could have been one of the first customers for the Amazon Echo with Alexa in November 2014. Step forward another two years to October 2016 when Google Assistant enters the market exclusively on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. Two months later in December 2016, Snapchat partners up with Shazam to identify music from its app. In February 2017, Google opened up its assistant to nearly all phones running Android Marshmallow or newer.
Even though it seems like Google Assistant has been around for quite some time, it is still extremely new and full of fun Easter eggs. Samsung's Bixby is the closest in age to Google Assistant, but is plagued by low user adoption and is only available on the Galaxy S8/S8+ for the time being. So, is Google actually late to the game in adding music recognition to its digital assistant? Alexa did not actually gain this skill until about two months ago, so it may be fair to say that Google is actually right on time.
As all digital assistants continue to evolve and gain additional skills, what features would you like to see added to your favorite personal aid? If you are not a fan of talking to your electronics, is there a better alternative to receive information on demand and have hands-free operation of your smart devices?