Google is adding new features to its Assistant, helping families come together just in time for Mother’s Day.
In a blog post, Google revealed that it’s extending its Broadcast feature so that it can be used even when you’re not at home. Until now, the feature was only available on Nest devices, but it’s expanding to iOS and Android devices, provided the person is in your ‘Family Group.’ The new Google Assistant functionality is identical to Alexa’s Drop-In feature, which allows you to send a message to your Alexa smart speakers and displays using either an Alexa-enabled device or the Alexa app on your smartphone.
Family Bell, released last August, lets you set alerts/reminders about daily tasks. Currently, to stop the bell from chiming once it has delivered the alert, you have to say, “Hey, Google, stop.” But moving forward, you’ll simply have to say “stop,” making the process a tad bit easier.
Additionally, Google will be adding eight new languages to Family bell, which includes Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish.
Google is also incorporating kid-friendly content to its assistant. Following a deal with Pottermore Publishing, a range of Harry Potter-themed stories and games will be available, beginning with “Hey Google, tell me a Quidditch Story,” which you’ll be able to watch and engage with on an Android or Google Assistant-powered smart display.
Penguin Random House’s “Who Was?” series is also being introduced. For example, if you say, “Hey Google, talk to Who Was Heroes,” you will hear stories about Ida B. Wells, Michael Jordan, Leonardo Da Vinci, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and more than a hundred other people. Say “Hey Google, tell me a story” to get a complete list of all stories available.
Lastly, new games, such as “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” are available to Google Home devices with a screen. There are also new songs that the assistant can sing to you, such as the handwashing song or the brush your teeth song, helping you to get those daily tasks done in a fun and encouraging way.
Image credit: Google