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Google Assistant

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[Update: Assistant hits more countries] Sonos will roll out Google Assistant to the One and Beam next week, 19 months after it first teased it

In October of 2017, Sonos introduced the One speaker with Alexa built in, but it promised Assistant would be coming the next year. Most of 2018 came and went and it wasn't until November that users were able to sign up for a private and demanding beta to test the feature. Then at CES this year, Google teased Sonos compatibility again, but we still had no official date. Thanks to Sonos's second quarter financial report, we now have an official confirmation: Assistant will come to Sonos next week.

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[Update: No more errors] Tapping the Google Assistant icon on mobile web search brings up an error page

Google recently introduced one-tap access to Google Assistant from its mobile search engine webpage, presumably because being able to trigger it from the home screen or a physical button from every single device ever is a good thing. And if the device you held didn't have the assistant, the link would take you to a page where you could download it. Well, that link seems to have been broken.

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4

TripIt integrates with Assistant and Alexa to get you quick updates about your next flight

For those of us who only travel occasionally, Google search and alerts about upcoming flights are more than enough. But if you're a frequent traveller, you likely use a service like TripIt to stay on top of every detail regarding your flights. Starting today, you won't need to open the app on your phone to do so, you can simply ask your Google Home or Echo speaker and get the answer.

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31

Google Assistant can directly control your smart mop

If you're using Google Assistant to control your smart mop, you probably have to tell it something like "OK Google, ask X to start mopping" or "Hey Google, tell X to clean." Even though this isn't too bad, it means you have to remember exact phrases and give your appliance's service name every time you want to operate your robot cleaner. However, Assistant is now gaining support for mops, which will let you control them directly using more natural commands.

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18

Google Assistant gets improved voice models for Dutch, Indian English, Indonesian, Norwegian, and Japanese

Google Assistant is an incredibly powerful tool in the US, and as of late, the personal helper is getting better all around the globe with an ever-growing number of supported languages and actions. This goes hand in hand with Google's recent announcement that it wants to massively expand Assistant all over the world, which has already led to a plethora of new and improved languages. Now, another round of updated and new voices have arrived for even broader international support.

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67

Google Assistant can automatically remember where you've parked for you

I'm the kind of guy that likes to rely on technology to get things done, especially if it can do a better job than me. When I park somewhere, I usually don't bother trying to remember my way back, but instead, memorize what venues are around to get there using Maps. Of course, being the forgetful person that I am, there are times when I simply can't recall where I left my car, but thankfully, I can use its app to navigate back to it. Unfortunately, not all vehicles have such a functionality, including the rental I had last month... Fortunately, I remembered to save my parking location in Maps before walking away; but even though this is an effortless task, you still need to think about doing it.

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35

Pixel Buds firmware update reduces lag and improves connectivity

Google tried to take on Apple's AirPods with its Pixel Buds, but as we all know, that didn't work out too well – the Pixel Buds aren't truly wireless and connect to each other with a cord, and coupled with some additional issues like poor audio and a finicky charging case, they never stood a chance. However, if you bought them prepared for these problems, you still got headphones with stellar Google Assistant support and quick pairing, so there's that. Now, the Buds are receiving a new firmware update that packs reduced lag, better connectivity, and improved battery stats.

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11

Assistant setup on Nest is broken for some, but Google is working on a fix

Google purchased Nest a long time ago in 2014. For quite a while, the company remained relatively autonomous and independent under the Alphabet umbrella, but recently, Google has folded Nest and its product right into its hardware division. Most notably, the Home Hub is now called Nest Hub, and Nest devices are losing their ability to connect to IFTTT, all in the name of security. However, with Nest accounts being migrated to Google accounts at the moment, users are experiencing inconveniences – some people report they haven't been able to connect their Secure and Nest IQ cams with the Assistant for weeks.

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Google app getting full dark mode for Search, Assistant, and in-app Discover feed [APK Download]

About a month ago, the Google app started showing early signs of a dark mode implementation, but users who had the design only saw it interspersed throughout the interface in some sort of chimera mode that mixed white elements, dark ones, and illegible text in many instances. Now, the proper dark mode is showing up for some users, with the entire interface dipped into darkness, from the entire Google app to Assistant and all of its settings.

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