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Articles Tagged:

assistant

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Google Assistant, four months later: Still fragmented, still unfinished, still the best

Back at Google I/O 2016, we got a first look at Google Assistant. It was designed to be a conversational assistant, as opposed to the search-based Google Now. Then when Allo was released in September, it shipped with a beta version of Assistant. Finally when the Google Pixel phones were released in October, Assistant was a major selling point.

Google has a tendency to rush products out the door without fully finishing them, and Assistant was no exception. So now that about four months have passed since the official introduction of Google Assistant (roughly five months if you count the Allo beta), has anything changed?

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Open GApps can now optionally install Google Assistant

Google Assistant was introduced at Google I/O last year, as a more personal voice assistant than Google Now. Since then, it has been made available on several platforms - Pixel phones, the Google Home, Android TV, and Allo. But Assistant is still unavailable on non-Pixel phones without a special build.prop tweak. Now the Open GApps team has made enabling Assistant a little easier.

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PSA: Google Assistant can remember things, on Allo, Pixel, and Home

We've often lamented the rather lacklustre approach Google has taken with Google Assistant, but it can do one thing: remember stuff. On all three things which use Assistant - that's Allo, Pixel, and Home - it can recall things it's been asked to remember. As Assistant is cross-platform, this works across all three devices; telling it to remember something on Home and then asking on Pixel does indeed work.

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These are all the apps and services that will work with Google Home [Continuously Updated]

Google first talked about Google Home back at I/O, but the device became official at the recent October hardware event. The speakers didn't go into detail on all the apps and services that Home would work with, preferring instead to focus on a few specific demos. Now, Google has published a list of everything that works with Home, and we expect this will grow over time.

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Google brings On Tap's screenshot feature to Assistant on the Pixel

Google got in a habit of dumping all sorts of features and incomplete ideas into Google Now on Tap. With the move away from On Tap, Assistant focused more on voice control and connected services. However, some of the useful features of On Tap were left behind too. In the case of screenshots, it looks like Google is bringing it back in Assistant.

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Google Assistant coming to Android TV, more actions in development

Until now, Google Assistant has been limited to the Google Home and the Pixel phones (unless you edited your phone's build.prop file). Assistant is slowly making its way to more devices, starting with Android TV. "In the coming months," it will become available on all Android TV devices in the US running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or higher (sorry, ADT-1 owners).

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Netflix and Google Photos integration for Google Home going live for some users

Google showed off Netflix integration with Google Home at the company's October 4 event. The feature would allow users to play Netflix content on Chromecasts, or Chromecast-compatible devices, with simple voice commands. Now the long-awaited feature appears to be going live for some users, along with Google Photos integration as well.

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Google Assistant's Smart Reply in Allo updated with Hindi and Brazilian Portuguese language support

Google's Allo chat program remains the only way to access the cool Assistant voice control tools without spending money (either on a new Pixel phone or a Google Home gadget). But as with a lot of Google products, it seems fairly focused on the American market. Today its Smart Reply linguistic powers get widened to two of the next-most-spoken languages on the planet, Hindi and Brazilian Portuguese. Support seems to be rolling out via a server-side switch, so don't be surprised if you can't immediately change to either language.

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[Update Google WiFi and more] [Deal Alert] Google Home on sale for $74.25 via Best Buy when you pay with Visa Checkout

Google Home usually retails for $129, but this is the holiday season, AKA the season of sales. Best Buy and other retailers currently have Google Home listed for $30 off, but you can get an additional $24.75 off Google Home ($74.25 final price) when you pay using Visa Checkout.

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Any.do announces faster syncing, a calendar, and AI assistant coming in v4.0 update

Any.do is one of the most popular to-do list managers on Android, and it's about to get a major update. The Any.do team has just announced the v4.0 update, which is rolling out to Android soon (it's on iOS today). It includes a few features users have been asking for, specifically a built-in calendar and real-time sync. Then there's the new AI assistant, which people weren't asking for, but Any.do hopes you'll like anyway.

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