Assistant's daily Snapshot feed is the reincarnation of the Google Now of ol' for our modern times. It took a few years for Google to migrate and integrate most of Now's excellent functionality into Assistant, but we're finally there now. We get weather, calendar, shipping, travel, commute, reservation, and more contextual cards, and it's all customizable. We can even call it with a simple "Hey Google, show me my day." What we can't do, though, is swipe right on the homescreen to get to it — that functionality has been monopolized by the Discover articles and ads. But Google has implemented another faster way to get to Snapshot.
Some people will have taken to working from home better than others as we all adjust to the new normal, but it's always good to have a little helping hand. If you're struggling to stay on schedule with your work, or could just do with the occasional moral support, this latest Google Assistant routine feature could be just what you need.
Gmail might be the de facto choice for personal email, but Outlook is still one of the top options for workplaces. Microsoft has been working on ways to drive mobile adoption higher, and today the company announced several new features intended to get more users trying Outlook on their phones.
In July, Google announced that smart home appliance makers would be able to publish Assistant routines featuring their own Actions and ones recommended from partner brands. Amazon seems to be raising that move with its own: user-shareable Alexa routines.
Google has taken down the Assistant-integrated AutoVoice Action again, for the second time in a year. This time, the company claims the action "promotes content that advocates hate or violence or promotes discrimination," apparently because someone in Germany stringed together a clearly custom command that made the Assistant spout off some hate speech.
Towards the end of last month, Google announced some new features for its Snapshot Assistant interface which bring it closer to what we always hoped Google Now would become. Among the new capabilities was a birthday reminder, said to be coming soon to English-speaking markets along with a notification so that you can't miss it. These appear to be functional now, so keep an eye out for them.
Android gives you separate volume control for media, notifications, and alarms, but Google appears to be working on adding a fourth slider to the mix. The AOSP Android 11 code suggests that the company is at least considering to add dedicated volume control for voice assistants, including but not limited to Google Assistant.
A new lockscreen notification loaded with command shortcuts for the Google Assistant has started appearing for some in what we assume is a test. The notification is silent, only appears when the phone is locked, is dismissable, and can bug out a bit in certain dark mode implementations, like Samsung's One UI.
They say the bigger the TV, the better the quarantine. Okay, okay, I say that. But seriously, since movie theaters probably won't be safe for a while, upgrading your home theater setup is the next best thing. And today only, Amazon is offering up both 55" and 65" 4K Ultra HD Smart TVs made by LG for some super low prices starting at just $436.99 — a $462.01 savings.
Whenever people discuss digital voice assistants, the conversation usually ends with the Google Assistant triumphing over Apple's Siri. I haven't owned an iOS device since I sold my childhood iPod Touch, but earlier this summer, I took the plunge and bought an iPhone 11 to see what I'd been missing — and to check out Siri's smarts for myself. It's much better than I expected, and in fact, there is at least one area where Siri makes the Google Assistant look like an off-key cover band: music.