Updates and Notifications

Updates and notifications allow your Assistant app to re-engage with users through scheduled daily updates and push notifications. They then can be pushed by your service or pulled at a scheduled time by Google.

During normal interactions with your app, you can ask users to opt-in to receive these updates and notifications. For now, they are surfaced as system notifications on the user's Assistant-enabled phones, but we will be expanding to new surfaces soon.

User experience

The user experience for updates and notifications consists of five major steps:

  1. Discovery

    The user must first find out that your app can offer updates and notifications. You can provide discovery for your updates during normal conversations with users. For example, after showing the user a piece of content they requested, you might show a suggestion chip offering to send similar content daily.

    In some cases, Google can provide discovery for your updates and notifications. For example, after the third day in a row users ask for a joke from the same Assistant app, Google might automatically ask them whether they'd like to receive the content daily.

  2. Personalization

    For certain types of updates and notifications, you may need to collect some information from the user before finally requesting they opt-in. For example, a weather alert update likely requires the user to specify a zip code before opting in, so that the content can be targeted to the appropriate location.

  3. Opt-in

    When users discover your updates, and you've gotten all the personalization information you need, you'll need to get their consent to "push" updates, or ask them to set-up a scheduled update.

    Google provides a built-in experience to opt the user in. This flow will be customized according to the specific type of update the user is requesting. Your app can provide multiple types of updates (for example, both a daily news briefing in addition to a breaking news alert).

  4. Receiving updates

    After the user opts in, they will start receiving updates and notifications from your app. Your service can trigger them (such as a weather alert) or Google can (such as a scheduled daily joke).

    Updates show up as system notifications on the user's Assistant-enabled phones. Once they tap one of these notifications, they are deep-linked into conversation with your app, where you can then provide the appropriate content.

  5. Managing updates

    Users may wish to stop receiving updates from your app. Google adds a Turn off button on the notifications sent to their phones. If the user taps this button, Google confirms that they wish to stop receiving updates from your app. Users can also ask the Assistant to "stop sending updates from $app" at any time.