Google Assistant has had Ambient Mode for quite some time now. The current implementation of it only works on devices like smart displays or alarm clocks. We first saw evidence that the company is working on a version of it for mobile devices when telling strings surfaced in the Google app's code – quickly followed by some images showing Ambient Mode in action on a Pixel phone. Today at IFA, Google is ready to officially launch it. The company unveiled the first batch of mobile devices supporting Ambient Mode, along with announcing Assistant support for a wide range of other audio products.
Ambient Mode kicks in when you charge your device. It activates the screen and provides you with information and actions you'd normally find in the Assistant app, with a backdrop consisting of a selection of images of your loved ones. In the foreground, it'll show you the current time, the weather, upcoming calendar events, and the charging status along with suggested actions. These let you control currently playing media, turn on and off lights, adjust your thermostat, and start the camera at the touch of the screen.
Supported smartphones include the Nokia 7.2 and 6.2, launched during IFA today. On the tablet side, the Lenovo Smart Tab M8 HD and Yoga Smart Tab (when placed in their smart charging stations) can call themselves the first to support Ambient Mode. All of these devices were just introduced at IFA, and it's not clear when or if the Mode will come to already released products.
Other than that, a slew of new devices supporting Google Assistant has been announced during the trade show:
- JBL LIVE300 TWS
- Harman Kardon FLY ANC
- Bose NC700
- Cleer Flow II and Halo
- Phillips PN505 and PH805
- Sony WI-1000XM2 and WH-H910N
- Sonos Move
- Bose Portable Home Speaker
- JBL Link Portable
- JBL Link Music
- Phillips AW25 and TAPN805 (soundbar)
- Konka G1
- SEIKI Tough and Cigar
- Braun Audio LE01, LE02, and LE03
As you can see, the theme with Google Assistant is ever the same: It's expanding its reach to more and more devices.