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Google Assistant

28

Google Assistant adds support for router and network control

These days, you can control most of your smart home using only your voice — Google Assistant lets you adjust your bed, mow the lawn, open your closets, start your Xbox, control your TV, and so much more. Routers and networks are the latest new addition to the Assistant's library of natively supported actions, allowing for things like reboots, software updates, and parental controls on third-party networking devices.

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19

Google Assistant adds native support for TVs, set-top boxes, and media remotes

Google Assistant already supports more than 60 device types, from smart lights and thermostats to more eccentric ones like dehydrators, pergolas, or fireplaces. Now it's officially adding three new ones: TVs, media remotes, and set-top boxes.

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8

Google Assistant can help you stay on top of your stock and finances (Update: Amex added)

Whether you have a retirement account that you've set and forgotten or are an active investor making orders at your coffee table, it'd be handy to check up on your portfolio and get things done right from your smart speaker. Google has just made it easy to do with new brokerage services listed right in the Google Account settings.

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0

Google Duplex is expanding to gather information from businesses in more international markets

Google Assistant's Duplex service, which can make concierge calls to businesses for booking tables, appointments, or making general inquiries, is already available in some form in the United States and New Zealand. Now, we've learned it's been established in three more Commonwealth nations. But you should not expect a robot to save you a seat anytime soon, coronavirus outbreak or no.

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5

You can sample and buy audiobooks right from your Google Assistant speaker or display

Happen to have a bit more time and attention to devote to a hobby? Why not listen to audiobooks on your capable Google Assistant speaker or display? Google has made it easier for its smart device owners to sample and buy titles without having to use your phone or computer.

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4

Google Assistant tests tab-less settings interface with search bar

A long time ago (prior to 2018, to be specific), Google Assistant's settings came without the now-familiar tabbed interface. Much like the system settings, different sections were accessible via top-level entries. It looks like Google is experimenting with a return to something akin to that old interface. A current A/B test spotted by 9to5Google puts a search bar at the top of the settings and gets rid of the tabs.

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11

The JBL Link View smart display is down to just $100 at Best Buy ($200 off MSRP)

If you're quarantined at home, you might enjoy the company of a smart display. It'll help you get through your day, cook, and stay in touch with loved ones. JBL's Link View offers excellent audio quality, combined with a front-facing camera and microphones, letting you enjoy a complete smart display experience. When it came out, the device cost about $300, but it's now down to just $100 at Best Buy.

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49

Google's speakers and displays add local control of smart home devices, starting with Hue, TP-Link, more (Update: SDK live)

For years we've dreamed of the smart home, but when we anticipated it, we didn't really picture a dozen hubs littered all over our house that do nothing but control only one type of device. Sadly, that's the truth we've come to. But Google seems to be taking the first steps to remedy this situation, starting with opening local control of smart devices to all developers and smart home manufacturers.

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22

Google Assistant gets granular, well-organized notification controls (Update: Rolling out widely)

Google Assistant isn't only good at answering your questions and orders. It also proactively sends you notifications on flights, public transport updates, packages, upcoming events, and more. To personalize which of these you receive, you usually have to head to the Google app's App info -> Notifications section. That's not very intuitive, and the amount of Assistant options there is limited. In a change that's already rolling out to first people, Google has moved the notification controls to a more prominent place right inside the Assistant's settings and has added many more granular toggles.

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106

The best smart home devices you can buy right now (Spring 2020)

Millions of homes now contain a smart assistant speaker of some variety and sales of IoT products continue to grow as the market matures and prices come down across the sector. With so many options available, it's hard to know what to buy, and that's where we come in — this is a selection of our favorite smart home gadgets. Whether you want to just dip your toes in the water with a cheap Google Nest Mini or dive into the deep end with smart lights, cameras, thermostats, doorbells, and so on — we’ve got you covered.

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