Writing a Google Home Voice App - 5 Tips and Considerations
By Stephen Garside on 2/16/2017
Here are my 5 top tips and considerations when writing a new voice application for the Google Home device:
1. Register Your Voice App Early
Register your voice app early to secure your invocation phrases. Visit https://console.developers.google.com and create your application. Then create a directory listing for your application together with your invocation phrases:
2. Consider Separate Bots for Google Home and Your Website / Social Media
If you are going to re-use the Artificial Intelligence (AI) of your voice app on your website / social media platform as a live chat or messaging feature, then consider writing two separate bots linked to the same back-end web-api. Google restricts the collection of emails and delivery of promotional material in their voice apps, but you may want to include this in your other delivery platforms. Write your Voice App bot first, then export it and re-import it as the basis for your website / social media bot. Both bots can use the same back-end webapi hook.
3. Voice App Review / Release Timescales
Reviews of voice applications and subsequent deployment is currently taking up to 2 weeks, so factor these timescales into your project schedule.
4. Always Close your Intents with a Question
All your AI intents should prompt the user for an answer, otherwise you risk leaving the Google Home microphone open – a classic for getting your application rejected. A typical example would be to have your app read out some latest news and then not prompt the user for any further input. An easy way around this is to prompt the user ‘is there anything else we can help you with today?’. An answer of Yes should ask the user ‘how can we help?’, and answer of No should forcibly end the app. There should be no ‘open ended’ intents in your package.
5. Watch your Spellings
Watch for spelling mistakes! Google will reject your app for just one minor spelling mistake, potentially adding days to your voice app being approved and published.
I hope you find my tips and considerations when building a Google Home voice app useful- stay tuned for more! You can check out a demo of a business application for Google Home in the following YouTube Video, or perhaps read my article about the future of Voice apps for Customer Service .