Just over two weeks into 2017 and there's already a second beta update to the Google app rolling out to users. The previous version didn't present with any notable new features, but it did leave some clues about future updates. The latest update is also packed with nuggets of future improvements, but it also adds at least one feature for people that have to search internationally from time to time. This update is currently rolling out to users signed up to the beta program, but if you want to pick it up separately, there is a download link at the bottom. Read More
By far one of the most annoying aspects of Google Now and Assistant is that you have to speak "OK Google," before every command. Even though Now and Assistant can continue conversations based on context (for example, you can follow up "Who is the president?" with "How old is he?"), you still have to say "OK Google" before asking anything. Read More
When Google Assistant was first unveiled at Google I/O last year, it promised to be a more natural voice assistant - similar to Siri, Alexa, Cortana, etc. It also serves as an Alexa competitor, with Google positioning Assistant for use with third-party devices and services. Right now, Google Assistant is officially available on Google's Pixel phones, the Google Home, Google's Allo chat application, and soon Android TV. Read More
The OK Google command is great, but I think we'd all agree that it can be a little... temperamental at times. Our Glorious Leader Artem recently took to Google+ to air his grievances about Trusted Voice, the feature that recognizes your voice and unlocks your phone accordingly. Read More
We're barely into the new year and Google isn't wasting any time getting updates out to some of its apps. A new beta for the Google app turned up on Tuesday, but like the last few versions, there aren't any apparent new features jumping off the screen. However, there are a few clues hidden inside the apk that tell us about a few changes coming down the pipe in the future. On the docket this time is a new(-ish) input method for Google assistant and a mysterious gesture-based search action. The first steps have also been taken to bring Google assistant to Android Wear. Read More
iHeartRadio, the online radio service, recently announced its paid on-demand All Access plans and it's now officially making them available (even though they have been accessible for almost a month). But that's not what we're here for. Another announcement coming from the company at CES is its upcoming integration with Google Home and a few other hardware and software partners.
Google Home support isn't live yet, but when it becomes available, you'll be able to play iHeartRadio stations or artists by asking the Assistant to do so. It looks like the integration will be direct, like Spotify works now, without requiring you first to speak to iHeartRadio and then ask for a station, but that's an assumption based on the vague PR description. Read More
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). Read More
Google has added multiple Easter eggs to Google Assistant, but this one is specifically for the Google Home. Tipster Ronald informed us that when you ask Google Home to "play Christmas music" or "play Hanukkah music," the alternating lights on the Home change colors. For Christmas, it alternates red and green lights, and for Hanukkah, blue and white. Read More
Here's a Google Home trick we haven't seen really publicized: the Assistant in Home can play you a six-note scale in any key. ( Read More
Note: This does not seem to work on the Pixel Assistant. Sigh. Correction: See update, this is just really broken in general, unfortunately.) Just tell Home to play you any key - for example, "play me a B sharp" - and the Assistant will respond with an ascending six-note scale. Neat.
Google has added a few entertaining Easter eggs to Google Assistant since its release, including fully interactive quiz games. In the spirit of the season, a few new holiday-related commands have made their way to Google Assistant. Read More