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Google Assistant

10

Your News Update for Google Assistant will read you custom-crafted coverage

Google has just introduced a new audio news briefing format for Assistant called "Your News Update." When you ask Assistant to tell you the news, instead of playing a series of whole podcasts that you've chosen, it will bring together bits and pieces of produced audio from a number of sources that you've curated. If you want to try it out, just go to the settings menu within Google Assistant, hit "News," then tap on your "News playlist format" to make the change.

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3

You can now ask your Google home speakers to play recommended Spotify tracks

Google Home and Assistant already offer plenty of music-related commands that let you play any track, artist, album, or playlist you want. But if you have nothing in particular in mind, the options become a lot more limited. You can say "play some music," which usually continues where you last left off, though that's not conductive to discovery. With some new commands, you'll be able to trust Spotify to play recommended tracks for you without having to continue or choose anything.

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64

Xbox One owners can now control their consoles with Google Assistant (Update: Public release)

We've known since June that Microsoft was working on integrating Alexa and Google Assistant with Xbox in lieu of its own voice assistant, Cortana. With Alexa support already up and running on Xbox One, it's now time for Google Assistant to get in on the action.

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74

Google mocks G Suite users again, states it intentionally removed Assistant reminders

Three months ago, Assistant reminders suddenly stopped working for G Suite users, with no warning or statement from Google. There hasn't been a proper fix either, other than reverting to an older version of the Google app or using Calendar for reminders instead. To add insult to injury, the company has now locked a support thread full of people asking for help and offered no explanation other than that the change was intentional and that it would update them on the situation later on.

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12

JBL Link Drive review: Google Assistant in your car still has rough edges

Google Assistant is everywhere these days: phones, tablets, speakers, Chromebooks, and more. The first Assistant devices for cars were unveiled earlier this year, and the first model from Anker launched in April. The other device, JBL's Link Drive, was announced at CES and seemed like it wasn't going to come out. Of course, JBL is no stranger to delays, and the Link Drive just became available recently. So, how is the JBL Link Drive? It's an almost identical experience to the Anker Roav Bolt, but with more hardware disadvantages and a higher price.

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36

Google Assistant is rolling out in Portuguese (Portugal)

It's been more than two years since Google Assistant became available in the Brazilian localization of Portuguese, but speakers of the Portugal version (pt-PT) were left waiting. Google has been working on that for over a year, and it began testing it in a closed beta a few months ago, but it appears ready to make it public now.

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12

How to make a WhatsApp voice or video call with Google Assistant

A couple of months ago, Google announced an integration with WhatsApp that'd allow you to start an audio or video call on the app via Assistant. We've been waiting for the ability to go live for weeks, but as it's wont to do, Google got things a little wrong. The original command it said would work doesn't, but a few others do. Here is what you need to say to get Assistant to make a WhatsApp call.

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49

6 things to try with the new Google Assistant on your Pixel 4

When Google teased the next-gen Assistant at I/O this year, it left a lot of us in awe of how fast and seamless it was. But as the Pixel 4 launched and reality took over, we noticed many limitations with this new Assistant experience. Sure, it has more compact UI and continued conversation, but it only speaks English for now, requires full gesture navigation, and doesn't work if you have a G Suite account on your phone. It does, however, offer a few features that aren't available on the existing Assistant. Chief among them is better integration with some apps, which allows Assistant to reply to your messages, share photos, and find things in different apps.

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60

(Update: Humidifiers and dehumidifiers too) You can now ask Assistant to fill up your bathtub or close your faucet

When Google launched Assistant, it was criticized for working with fewer smart devices than Alexa. The company rapidly showered us with support for many more products, though, and has recently introduced compatibility with mops, microwaves, and showers. Until today, though, Assistant couldn't natively work with your entire bathroom. Google is now righting this wrong by bringing native support for bathtubs and faucets; hot!

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31

Lenovo Smart Clock down to just $40 (50% off)

If you're looking for an Assistant-powered smart display but need something slightly smaller than a Nest Hub, the Lenovo Smart Clock is worth considering. However, its $80 launch price was way too high for it to make sense. Thankfully, the manufacturer realized its product was too expensive and started selling it for $20 less. That markdown was apparently not enough, as the Lenovo Smart Clock has dropped to just $40, which is half its original MSRP.

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