A Google Assistant app teardown from 9to5Google revealed Android phones might get Google Assistant information on their ‘Ambient Display.’ Additionally, the company is getting closer to integrating third-party note apps into Assistant, but some users already have access to it.
Concerning the Ambient Display feature, it’s hard to determine how it’ll work as the code from the teardown isn’t clear about what it does.
9to5Google shared three lines of code that reference the Assistant/Ambient Display feature.
- <string name=”nexus_device_am_chips_title”>Ambient Display</string>
- <string name=”nexus_device_am_chips_toggle_text”>Get suggestions from your Assistant on your ambient display.</string>
- <string name=”nexus_device_am_chips_toggle_title”>Quick suggestions</string>
9to5Google reports that the ‘am’ portion of the code refers to Ambient Display, while ‘nexus’ typically refers to phones. ‘Chips’ refers to a UI element, suggesting Assistant could possibly appear as part of the Ambient Display in the future.
However, since a lot of manufacturers customize the always-on display, it might take a while for this feature to come to non-Pixel devices.
The final line of code references ‘Quick suggestions.’ When users place a Pixel 3 on a Pixel Stand they, sometimes receive Google Assistant suggestions, so it seems like this is either an expansion of that feature, such as allowing it to work without a Pixel Stand, or it’s coming to more Android devices.
- Hopefully, this isn’t a Pixel specific feature, as having data from Google Assistant’s Visual Overview page on a phone’s always-on display could provide user-contextual information more efficiently than opening the Assistant app or asking Google to show the information.
Further, it appears Google is still working on rolling out its Assistant third-party notes update. Some users already have the update, according to the report, but the bulk of users are still waiting.
Google Assistant uses a built-in first-party note and reminders platform, so that’s where Google Assistant currently stores reminders and notes. Since most users use third-party note-taking and reminders platforms, Google wants to add support for those apps into Assistant.
The code found by 9to5Google relates to syncing Google Assistant with some note-taking app’s lists functions, like shopping lists. This would be a huge bonus for people who use third-party apps for notes and lists.
Additionally, there’s a bit of code related to picking a third-party notes app that will tell users: “Choose a service to sync with all your notes and lists, including shopping lists. They’ll also be saved by your Assistant.” This will likely appear as part of a dialogue window or instruction panel when the update fully rolls out.
Having Assistant integrate with your favourite note-taking app could be super handy. Personally, it took me a while to realize all the notes and reminders I created with Assistant weren’t saving to my notes app. Since then, I stopped using Google Assistant to take notes since they don’t get saved where I’ll see them.
Google is working on bringing the feature to Google Keep, Any.do, todoist, Bring!, Out of Milk, Any List, Remember the Milk, Picniic, Our Groceries and Todo, according to the teardown.