Who wants to use buttons and apps to start streaming video when you can just yell at your virtual assistant? No one, that's who. Google Assistant added support for starting Netflix streams a while back, but other services have been slow to follow. There's a new one today, though. HBO Now subscribers can plug into Assistant in just a few steps. Read More
At I/O this year, Google promised support for the Korean language would be coming by the end of the year to Assistant. Then at the October Pixel event a couple of weeks ago, Google also stated that Actions on Google (third-party Assistant integrations from different services) now support Korean. Between then and now, it appears that support for the Korean language has gone live on Assistant.
Google's help pages now say that you can talk to Assistant in Korean on your phone, your Wear watch (which makes sense since it's connected to your phone), and that developers can add it in their Actions on Google apps. Read More
There are just a handful of video services that support voice controls on the Google Home, like Netflix and Google Photos. This allows you to start playback of content on a Chromecast, Android TV, or other Cast-enabled device using Google Assistant voice commands. I'm still waiting for Hulu to add support, but in the meantime, you can now use it with YouTube TV. Read More
Back in the summer, Google announced that we would be seeing Google Assistant-powered speakers this fall from a range of third-party manufacturers, including Sony, Panasonic, Anker, and Mobvoi. So far, only Sony's offering is available for purchase, but today Mobvoi is joining in by putting the TicHome Mini speaker up for pre-sale.
First announced at IFA 2017 in Berlin, the device is small and portable, with a handy carrying strap. It has all the functionality you would expect from an Assistant-powered device, essentially making it a Google Home that you can take with you as you move around your house. Read More
Oh Google, all the mysterious ways in which you work will continue to elude us, but now we shall shed the light on one very important puzzle that's been making us scratch our heads for months, nay years. One day you say "OK Google" to your phone and it responds with a ding letting you know it's listening. A few weeks later, you try again, and there's no ding so you have to look at your display and spot that tiny animation on the bottom to figure out if it's listening to you or not. What's the difference? It's not your phone's volume level - you sometimes hear the ding even with Do Not Disturb on and then other times you don't hear it with the volume up to maximum. Read More
A new version of the Google app began circulating in the beta channel late last night. This one brings a small addition that makes it easy to remove your account from a linked Android TV unit with Assistant. It's not too exciting, but it is important to have available. The more interesting details are found in the teardown, where we finally see a sign that Assistant is coming to tablets soon, the 'Recents' screen is going to get a bit more versatile with more types of content, and more. Read More
With the introduction of the Home Mini and Home Max, there are now three types of Assistant-powered hardware from Google. The Assistant is already very capable, but that isn't stopping the team from continuing to add useful features. At Google's event earlier in the month we learned that Google Home can now easily find your phone, and it also recently added the ability to turn off your Chromecast-connected TV.
The latest addition to Google Home's feature set is a new type of timer. It's already possible to set timers for things like cooking or game time, but we can now also set a sleep timer that will stop your music playing at a given point in time. Read More
Google Assistant doesn't need to do a whole lot more to earn the "spooky" tag, but that's not stopping the team behind it from trying — but this time for smiles, not shivers. The virtual assistant is now equipped with interactive, intentionally humorous responses to some Halloween-related questions and commands. Read More
The fragmentation of what Google Assistant can do on which device is, to say the very least, beyond frustrating. You issue a command on your phone and it works, then you try the same on your Google Home and it says it can't do that yet. You try something else on your Google Home and it works, but it doesn't from your phone, or your watch, or your TV, or Allo. It's disheartening when you know the Assistant could be so cool, but its implementation is so heterogeneous that it's impossible to explain that to a regular human.
Take for example the action of playing something on your Chromecast, be it a Chromecast connected to your TV, a Chromecast Audio, or a speaker with Chromecast built-in. Read More