The Google Assistant SDK is an essential part of adding Google's virtual assistant to different devices not made by Google, which is probably why Google's made it available in a bunch of new countries: Germany, Japan, Australia, Canada, and here in the UK.
The lack of SDK availability here doesn't stop third part Assistant devices from being sold, but it does mean companies based here can't utilise its skillset. Now that it is, however, it means local companies can design products around Google Assistant and make their features more relevant to local audiences.
It's a good thing for Google, since it makes Assistant much more appealing. Given how widespread Amazon's Alexa has become in recent third party devices, Google obviously needs to catch up or risk being drowned out by is competitor. The more people able to use Assistant means there's a better chance some of them will actually use it.
The SDK also has some new features being thrown in, including something called the Device Action feature. This lets manufacturers detail the feature supported by their hardware, but only using the code needed to actually perform the action. That means you can ask Google to change the thermostat without using a device name or brand, thanks to natural language processors. Also included now are text-based queries (as opposed to voice), better device management, and customisable device settings.
So start expecting a bunch of gadgets with Google built in next year, which will no doubt lead to some sort of virtual assistant-based fanboy wars over which AI is actually better. [Google via Engadget]