Google’s head of communications for South Africa, Mich Atagana, is passionate about launching the company’s devices locally.
“If I have my way,” she said about bringing the Pixel and Home into the country. “It’s really important to me.”
These are the first Pixel and Home devices that Google has released, and it wants to make sure it gets it right in one place before moving to the next, she said.
“As with everything, we hope to roll out globally as we go,” said Atagana.
Support for Google Assistant
Features in Google Assistant which don’t currently work in South Africa will start to come online as local partnerships fall into place. This is according to Google’s Laura Scott.
Google Assistant is a context-aware, voice-powered search assistant for smartphones.
While most of the assistant’s functionality is available to South Africa, features such as booking a movie, hotel room, or a table at a restaurant are not.
“The advantage here is that people speak English and they can still use a lot of the functionality,” said Scott.
“It’s frustrating for local users, but it is an enormous challenge to get all those things to work, and so it’ll be a little bit of time yet.”
Scott said she doesn’t have a timeframe for rolling out the features in South Africa, and said a lot of it is going to come down to partnerships.