Google Assistant will now take an active role in helping you book a ride. Ask it for a ride to the airport or a local restaurant, and the digital assistant on your phone will pull info from popular ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft. You'll see wait times and prices compared, and if you choose a service Google will take you to that app to finish the transaction.
The new feature launches Thursday, a day after Google rolled out. Both announcements might be setting the stage for new products and demos at the company's .
At launch, the feature is only available in English, but it will work internationally with 18 different ride-hailing services. It will work on iPhones as well as Android devices, but iPhone users will need to make sure they have Google Assistant and Google Maps installed to take advantage of the feature.
You can activate the feature with smart speakers like the Google Home as well, but it will send the pertinent info to your phone to finish the process. Unfortunately, the feature isn't yet available for Google's smart displays like the , but Google said it expects to add it to that platform soon.
Note that Google Assistant won't actually book your ride for you (again, it takes you to the app of whichever service you choose). Instead, the idea is to give you enough information that you can make a choice without having to scroll through multiple apps to sort through your options.
Seeing prices and wait times together on the screen sounds pretty handy. Google Flights does something similar, so I'll be glad to use a similar side-by-side comparison for day-to-day travel needs.