Building to deploying your own Action on Google under 60 minutes flat

What?

You know Google Assistant right? Google opened up the Google Assistant platform for developers in December 2018. With Actions on Google, you can easily reach and engage with users across Google. From quick commands to full conversations, Actions help you connect your content and services to users with the Google Assistant. The Google Assistant is available across 1B+ devices like speakers, smart displays, phones, and more. Build for voice, visuals, or both.

These actions are easy to build leveraging Google’s capabilities in machine learning and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) to easily design conversations and deploy Actions. Increasing discovery and usage of your Actions with features like Action Links, notifications, and localization to nearly 30 languages and 80 countries.

Sold? Oh, you need some incentive….

What do I get?

  • Get a chance to be a part of Google Assistant Developer Community.
  • Win an exclusive Google Assistant t-shirt. That you can wear it when you meet our team at events around the world.
  • To support your efforts, You also win $200 of Google Cloud services a month (applicable to any Firebase plan)- for a full year!
  • And of course if you pass the milestones listed below, then a Google Home as well!

I am too lazy to code? It will take a lot of time.

Well, I think you are all out of excuses because with templates you can build your activities from start to testing to deployment in minutes by just filling a pre-filled excel sheet and 0 lines of code. If you are thinking bigger, then DialogFlow makes things easier by helping you use the full power of Google’s NLU to help your activities become more life-like and awesome. But, still you won’t be writing any code and the limits are only defined by your creativity.

[I am sold] Tutorial to get started on your action.

  1. First, explore the Actions for Google directory to check out activities that have been made before by other users. This will help you get a better idea on how they work, and interact with you the user. If you like you can check out my activity and play Slang Quiz.

2. Now that, you have your idea. See if it could fit in one of these templates that are listed under template actions. There are tutorials listed on Google Actions’s website for each template to help you out, these are easy and fun to get started with. I am listing them down. Also, if your activity idea is great and won’t fit into these templates, then not to worry. Head down to the end of the post for sorting that out as well.

To build a template Action, read the guides for each type of template:

  • Trivia – Create your own trivia game show putting your friends, family, and other Assistant users in the hot seat. Check out the American Presidents Quiz and Planet Quiz for some examples.
  • Personality quiz – Build a personality quiz that rewards survey takers by assigning an enlightening (or quirky) classification based on their answers. Check out the Sorting Hat to learn your Hogwarts house assignment as an example.
  • Flash cards – Help your friends or study group learn new concepts and test their knowledge with flash cards. Help people learn a new language through words and phrases, or test biology expertise to help a science student ace their next exam.
  • How-to videos – Expand your how-to content’s audience to Google Assistant users by building a How-to Action with a How-to Video template.

These will take you about 40-50 minutes to bake, build, test, think and deploy.

Come back when to read more, that’s about it.

That was easy? What now?

  • Now, you wait? Google will review your action and will let you know the decision that will be taken on your activity. Either they will approve (Yippee kaayay) or they will suggest some changes. Do those changes and submit again for production.
  • Once deployed, you can also see your activity here, like mine.
  • Next up, try to achieve one of the milestone that I told you about earlier to be eligible to win a Google Home for yourself. And then keep building.
  • Extremely important, Participants in the Community program must have a publicly deployed app on Actions on Google by July 31, 2019 at 11:59 pm (PT). The app must be in good standing at the time of Google review. Apps created using templates must have at least 50 unique questions if building with the trivia or flash card templates. For apps built with the personality quiz template, the app must have at least five traits with at least three questions per trait and at least five outcomes. These must be your original work.
  • If you cease to have any publicly deployed apps on Actions on Google, you will no longer be eligible for the Community Program.

Thank you for reading the post, my game “There is no game here.” will be coming out soon enough on the Assistant store. I am so excited. Hope this quick post helped you out and as always folks, live in the mix.


PS. Hi there, I am so happy that you reached this section, being the few who tried to think out of the box for their activity as you will get to use DialogFlow.

I am listing out a codelab that you can follow, it’s an hour long and very fun to complete. Let me know if you have any issues. I follow this to make my own activities as well.

Thanks everyone who has been helping me out in this journey to learn something especially Darshan Baid.

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