Earlier this week at its annual hardware event, Google announced a number of new features for its Assistant coming to the new Pixel 3 phones and Google’s own Home Hub smart display. As it turns out, though, Google didn’t pull back the curtain on everything new with the Assistant, so today, it’s announcing a number of new features and clarifying which of those that it showed off on the Pixel 3 are coming to other phones as well.
If you currently have the Lenovo Smart Display or the JBL Link View at home, then you’ll be happy to hear that you’ll get Live Albums, support for the Nest Hello doorbell and Home View for controlling all of your smart home devices soon. This update will also remedy one of my biggest gripes with smart displays so far because you’ll finally be able to add them to your speaker groups — something that was oddly missing when Lenovo and JBL announced their gadgets.
As Google already announced before, Call Screen, which lets you use the Assistant to answer a call to make sure it’s not yet another annoying telemarketing scam, and Duplex for making restaurant reservations is coming to Pixel phones later this year.
What’s new is that Google also today announced that its new visual snapshot of your day — so that you can see reminders, recent notes and event notifications — is coming to all Android smartphones with the Assistant soon. To see this, you simply swipe up after activating the assistant.
The Assistant is also coming to the lockscreen and now lets you pose personal queries like “What’s on my calendar?” without unlocking the phone. Instead, Google relies on its ability to recognize your voice to provide you this information, similar to what it already does on its Google Home devices.
On phones, Google is also introducing its new “Filters” setting that allows you to manage your kids’ access to the apps on your phone and a new ‘downtime’ feature that lets you set a schedule for when you can’t use your device. Soon, you’ll also be able to access many of the Pixel phones’ Digital Wellbeing features from the Assistant (“Hey Google, set wind down for 10am”).
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