Google is rolling out a host of family-oriented updates to Google Assistant smart speakers and displays.
While many of these updates aren’t features I’d use, I appreciate Google putting in the effort to add more features to its smart speakers and displays.
The displays especially get a host of updates that add pretty robust functionality to the already excellent smart display platform.
One of the cooler updates is called ‘Family Notes,’ and it allows people to pin a collection of notes to the home screen of a Google Smart display so everyone in your family can see them.
You can trigger this function by saying phrases like, “Hey Google, leave a family note that says defrost the pie,” or “Hey Google, leave a family note that says we’re out of wrapping paper,” according to Google’s Blog.
This next update works on both smart displays and smart speakers. ‘Family Bell’ has been around for a while, but now Google is building out its feature set.
Family Bells are reminders that chime across all of your Google Assistant smart objects. Google’s prime example is setting a reminder for dinner every day at 6pm.
The update coming to Family Bell is the ability to pause it for a single day. Google says this update is coming in the next few weeks. The company also hints that it will integrate with your calendar and automatically pause based on if you’re off work or school.
You can learn a little more about Family Bell on Google’s support page.
Find your Friends & Family
If you like to keep tabs on your friends and family, you can now do so with your smart display and the Life360 app.
Life360 allows users to create family groups and then track each person within the group’s location. This functions much like Apple’s Find My app.
This means that you can ask, “Hey Google, Where’s Paul” or “Ok Google, where’s my family,” to get updates on people in your Life360 app.
Kids can Google too
Kids under the age of 13 can now have custom Google Assistant profiles through the company’s Family Link profile.
This doesn’t seem exactly the same as an adult profile that’s just recognized via voice. Instead, children will need to log in manually.
Once they do, they’ll be greeted by a custom smart display home screen that highlights all of these new features. It also has a discover section like regular Google Assistant-based smart displays.