Android Police

Google Assistant

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Huawei ban reportedly killed an Assistant-powered smart speaker

Huawei has not had a great 2019. Just a few short years ago, the company was gearing up for a big push in North America. Then, the political climate got downright chilly for Chinese firms. Now, Huawei is facing down a technology trade ban that threatens to cut it off from US suppliers. The Information reports that one casualty of the dustup was an Assistant-powered smart speaker from Huawei.

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9

Google Nest is giving 100,000 Home Minis to people living with paralysis

The tagline for Google's smart home products, "A little help at home," resonates with many, but none more so than users with disabilities. The hands-free assistance offered by Google Home devices can go a long well to helping users feel more independent, and this is particularly true of people living with paralysis. Today, Google announced a partnership with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation that will see 100,000 Home Minis given out to improve even more lives.

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[Update: B&H Photo] The JBL Link Bar is finally available for purchase

JBL and Google announced the Link Bar more than a year ago, but the first sound bar with Android TV built in didn't launch on time. In fact, it has been pushed back repeatedly from late 2018, to spring 2019, and finally to summer. And here we are—the Link Bar appears to finally be live on JBL's site for $399.95.

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17

Google Assistant lets some users send texts without unlocking their phone

One of the many trade-offs companies face in developing voice assistants is balancing user privacy and utility. Relying on voice commands alone may be very convenient, but what happens when those commands rely on information secured behind your phone's lockscreen? Google seems to be thinking about this very problem right now, as the company tests relaxing existing Assistant lockscreen restrictions, and allowing some users to send text messages without first unlocking their phones.

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10

[Update: Japanese too] Smart Clocks gain support for French and German, as Lenovo expands sales

With its Smart Clock, Lenovo introduced a new type of Asssitant-enabled smart display. Unfortunately, it could only speak English when it came out, as it runs off a custom Android Things platform, which is different from the one used by Lenovo Smart Displays and Nest Hubs. However, Google just updated its official Assistant support pages to indicate the device now supports French and German.

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31

Get Google Assistant on your Samsung Galaxy smartwatch with GAssist

It can easily be argued that Samsung's Tizen smartwatches are better than Wear OS competitors in a number of ways, but the voice assistant is not one of them. Bixby will never be able to compete with Google Assistant in this space, so it's always been a bit of a blow for Samsung watch owners. Until now, that is, as a new app is bringing the Assistant to the Galaxy Watch and others Tizen running 4.0 and above.

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21

[Update: Screenshots] Google Assistant updates might soon live on the Ambient Display

Google Assistant has quickly grown from a simple voice control app to a full-blown product that encompasses many elements of Google's software strategy, proactively providing people with data about themselves. After showing off the super-fast, hardware-specific next-gen Assistant at I/O, Google is still looking to improve the experience for everyone. It appears that the company is working on bringing Assistant updates to the Ambient Display.

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3

Get two Google Homes for $99 at Target and save a total of $40

Could the original, stalwart Google Home be due for a refresh soon? We sure have been seeing a lot of deals for the speaker lately, which still sounds good and is capable of all the Assistant commands you could think of. Target is now offering a two-pack of Google Homes for $99, available through Tuesday night.

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The best smart home devices you can buy right now (Summer 2019)

Worldwide sales of voice assistant smart speakers from Google, Amazon, and others continue to grow, and the same can be said of the smart home sector as a whole. The technology underpinning these products is always improving and it’s becoming increasingly affordable to bring smart gadgets into your house.

There's already such a vast number of different products from various companies out there that it's hard to know which ones are the best, so we've put together this list with some of our favorites.

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Claims Google is 'eavesdropping' on your Google Home are a lot less exciting than they sound

Smart speakers add a layer of convenience to a household, but have you ever thought of them as planting a mole into your own living room? Back in April, Amazon admitted its employees reviewed anonymized recordings in order to improve its speech recognition system. Now a fresh controversy has emerged around Google and its Assistant, where the company confirms doing the very same — but there's still no need to worry.

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