The Flash Cards app template lets you create apps without writing a single line of code. The template lets you choose a personality, specify the questions, answers, hints, and configuration for the app in a Google Sheet. Then, in a few minutes, you'll have a fully working app that you can test and submit for approval.
Building your app
To build your app using a flash cards template:
- Go to the Actions Console and log in with your Google account.
- Click on Add/Import Project to create a new project. The Add project window appears.
Give the project a name and click on Create Project. When your project is created, an Overview window appears with several different ways to create an app.
Click on Build within the Flash Cards option.
In the Personality section, select one of the available personality options and click Next.
Use the players below to hear audio samples of each personality:
Voice Sample Regal Queen Mr. Montgomery Beeps the Robot
Each personality has different spoken prompts and sound effects that users hear as they play the game.
In the content section, click on Bulk upload the content for your app using Google Sheets. You will see the following prompt:
Click on the Make a copy of the pre-filled Google Sheet for editing link and click Make a Copy.
Update the Questions & Answers tab of your sheet copy with your own questions, answers, and hints. Try adding fun follow-ups that give users extra facts about the answer.
Update the Configuration tab of the sheet with the name of your app. You may also want to specify a QuestionTitle and AnswerTitle, which describe the subject of your questions and answers to the user. You can further customize your game by providing custom sounds via audio URLs. For more information on custom configuration options, see the configuration parameters section.
When you finish filling out the sheet, go back to the Actions Console and click Next to move on to the Connect Sheet step.
Copy and paste your Google Sheet's URL into the Add your sheet's URL to upload your content field and click Upload:
Click on Create App. The Overview page appears, showing you a notification that says Created. It might take a minute before the page refreshes and the notification appears.
Editing the content of your app
If you want to change your app's content, click on Actions > > Edit Actions.
You can customize your app with custom audio files to build your own personality. To configure a custom option, type the key and value in the Configuration tab of your sheet.
You can add the following optional keys in the Configuration tab of the Google Sheet to further customize your app:
||Used in prompts to describe the subject of your questions.||Short string|
||Used in prompts to describe the subject of your answers.||Short string|
||The "ding" sound played after each question to prompt the user for their response.||Audio URL|
||The intro music played when the game starts.||Audio URL|
||The music played at the end of the game.||Audio URL|
||The music played when the user gives a correct answer.||Audio URL|
||The music played when the user gives an incorrect answer.||Audio URL|
||The music played when the round ends.||Audio URL|
||The music played while the game calculates the score.||Audio URL|
||When value is set to 'no', the questions are serially asked in the given category/difficulty or grade level. Useful for testing the pronunciation, grammar and time-length of the question. This parameter only works when the total number of questions is less than 50. This parameter should only be used for testing purposes.||Yes / no|
||To record analytics associated with the app using Google Analytics. Note that you can also use the Actions Console to track analytics for your app.||Add the Google Analytics tracking id|
||To customize the exit message used when the app ends.||TTS message|
Testing your app
Click on Simulator in the left column to test your app via a web interface. To invoke your app, say or type Talk to my test app in the simulator. You can also test your app via Google Assistant on your phone or Google Home if your device and app are using the same Google account.
Submitting your app
When the Actions section is complete and you have tested your app, you may submit your app to Google for review. If your app is approved, it will be available to Assistant users.
To submit your app:
- Go to the Overview page for your project in the Actions Console.
Click on the App Information section, click Add and fill out the following information. Most of this information is public and appears in the Assistant Directory.
- Name: Enter your app's name. This is how your app appears in the Assistant Directory, as well as how users invoke your app. Use a microphone and say your app's name to help us understand the correct pronunciation.
- Details: Add your app's introduction, short description and full description, clearly explaining what the app is used for and what it does. Add sample invocations and select a category for the app. For flash card apps, choose Games and Fun.
- Images: Add two images, one for the banner and one for the logo.
- Testing Instructions: Add any specific testing instructions if required. These are only visible to our review team. Generally, for apps that you build with the flash cards template, you can leave this blank.
- Contact details: Add an email contact. Our review team uses this email address to give feedback on your app. Users can also see this email address to contact you.
When you're done filling out your app's information, you will return to the Assistant App Draft page.
Skip the Location Targeting section by clicking Next.
In the Surface Capabilities section, leave the default values of No for both Audio Output and Screen Output. These capabilities are not mandatory for apps that you build with the flash cards template.
Note: Template apps work on all surfaces supported by the Google Assistant.
The Account Linking section is optional. You may skip this.
Click Submit Draft for Review to submit your app. The review team responds within 48 hours.
Change the default title in the Configuration tab of your Google Sheet
Go back to your content sheet and open the Configuration tab. Change the name of the app by using a new title instead of The Fun Flash Cards Game. Go to the Actions Console and connect the sheet again.
Unsupported Google Sheet Configuration tab key
This error means one of the key-value pairs in the Configuration tab of the your content sheet is incorrect. Refer to list of Configuration Parameters and make sure your keys are all spelled correctly.
Failed to get conversion
If you see this error, refresh the web page and try again.
Request Access Error
You might see a screen requesting access permission when you try to access the pre-filled template content sheet. If this occurs:
- Log out of all Google accounts and close all browsers.
- Reopen your browser and log back in with the account that you're using for your Actions Console project.
- If the error message persists, try using Incognito mode in Chrome.
Simulator Not Responding
If the simulator doesn't show the Test or Authorize button, refresh the web page and try again.
Content Best Practices
- Question Format:
- Keep questions clear and short. Don't force the user to hold a lot of words in their heads.
- Keep the answers even shorter. One or two-word answers work best.
- Make sure your questions are actually asking the user a question.
- Try to start with question words such as who, what, when. Guide users to the kind of answer they should give.
- Synonyms: If you think there are multiple correct ways to answer a question, you can set multiple synonyms by using the "|" key as a separator. For example, if a question's answer is set to "United States|USA|US", a user could say any of these synonyms to correctly answer the question.
- Cultural Reach: To engage the maximum number of users, try to offer questions that many people can relate to, regardless of their ethnic or class background. Remember that not everyone has been exposed to the same classical and cultural references.
- Understandability: Answers work best when they require three or fewer words. If the user has to give a lengthy response, the voice-detection error gap widens.
- Efficiency: It's best to use contractions wherever possible ("I'm" instead of "I am") to speed up TTS playback.
- Age Appropriateness: Determine your target audience before you create your questions and answers. We recommend targeting your content for age appropriateness.
- Gender Diversity: For maximum user engagement, remember that you're targeting diverse genders. Try to use pronouns, examples, and subject matter that a maximum number of users can relate to.
General Guidelines and Restrictions
- The maximum question length is 200 characters.
- Try not to include complicated or very long words that may be hard for the computer speech to pronounce or users to understand. For example: mechanoreceptors or proprioceptors.
- Do not ask two questions such as "How many x are there? What are they?"
- as a part of one single question.
- The maximum answer length is 25 characters.
- The maximum questions per round is 10 questions.
- You can add up to 1000 questions per app. If you have more than 1000 questions, you can replace the content periodically, or create multiple apps and categorize the questions accordingly.
- In the absence of a follow-up statement, leave the cell empty. Do not add programming characters such as \n, \n\r.
Refrain from using questions with multi-word answers that have overlapping words. For example:
- Question: What are the necessary ingredients for XYZ?
sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water
sunlight, carbon dioxide and oxygen
sunlight, oxygen and water
Be cautious while using multi-word, non-overlapping answers, because it might be difficult for users to repeat back the whole answer. For example:
- Question: What are the necessary ingredients for XYZ?
sunlight, water, carbon dioxide
oxygen, nitrogen, selenium
Do not include special characters such as "^", ":" , "(" , ")"
- You may include "&", "$", "#", "@" in your questions and answers. If you do, please test them on a device to ensure they are spoken correctly and the answers are speech-recognized correctly.
- If you have abbreviations or mathematical symbols as a part of the question or answer, make sure you test each phrase to hear how the Assistant speaks it and if the speech recognition works. For example, "O2" (for oxygen), "NAACP," and "a+b=c+d" may not be spoken or speech-recognized as you expect.
- To test how the Assistant speaks a single question containing the abbreviations or symbols, update the sheet to contain that single question as the first question, set 'RandomizeQuestions' = 'No' and re-test it on with the Actions simulator.
What does it cost to create a template app?
There is no cost, we host everything for you for free.
How do I add custom audio to my app?
Use the Configuration Parameters tab to provide audio URLs as key-value pairs.Ensure your URLs use HTTPS links and your audio files are in one of the supported formats listed in SSML audio.
How do I track analytics associated with the app? Can I customize the metrics?
Can I submit my app to the Apps for Families program?
Depending on your app's content, template apps can comply with the Apps for Families. You just need to submit your app for the program, as described in the Submitting your app section of the Apps for Families guide.