Google Assistant gets new “household notes” for Smart Displays, command scheduling, and more
At Google I/O last year, the company first showcased the all-new faster Google Assistant. The new Assistant made its way to users with the launch of the Pixel 4 series later in October and since then, Google has added even more new features into the mix. Features like food delivery integration and support for third-party notes and lists apps made their way to the Assistant late last year. And now, at CES 2020, Google has announced a few more features that will soon be available on the Assistant.
In a bid to help users set up their Google Assistant-powered smart devices, the company has added a new notification prompt and a suggestion button in the Google Home app. The new prompt/button will allow users to connect the device with your Assistant and complete the setup in just a few taps, with no need to re-enter your account credentials. Along with a simpler device setup process, Google also aims to give users more granular controls over their smart home devices. For this purpose, the company will roll out a new feature called Scheduled Actions later this year. With the feature, users will be able to ask the Assistant to turn on/off or start/stop a compatible smart device at any time of their choosing. Users will be able to use commands like, “Hey Google, run the coffee maker at 6 a.m” and the Assistant will take care of the rest.
The Google Assistant on support Smart Displays is getting a new household notes feature aimed at helping households stay organized. As the name suggests, the feature will allow users to add sticky notes with the Assistant on their Smart Display. For instance, users will be able to use commands like, “Hey Google, leave a note that says I already fed Max breakfast.” and the Assistant will pin a sticky note to the Smart Display for the rest of the household. Additionally, the Assistant is also getting a household contacts feature that essentially put your most important contacts on speed dial. As with Scheduled Actions, the household notes and contacts feature will roll out to the Assistant later this year.
Google also showcased some major advancements in the Assistant’s speech technology which enables natural reading of long-form content. The new technology will help the Assistant read long-form content with more expression and a natural sounding voice, making it easier for users to listen for a long duration. Users will be able to trigger this feature by using commands like, “Hey Google, read it” or “Hey Google, read this page” while viewing an article. The feature will work in 42 languages, including Hindi, German and Spanish, and might also include auto-scroll and text highlighting features upon launch later this year.
Along with the aforementioned features, Google also shed light on two new voice actions for better privacy controls. These include the new “Hey Google, that wasn’t for you” command, which will prompt the Assistant to forget what it just heard in an unintended activation, and “Hey Google, are you saving my audio data?”, to learn more about privacy controls and head directly to the settings to change privacy preferences. For more information on all that Google announced for the Assistant at CES 2020, follow the source linked below.
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