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Google Assistant


Tile Bluetooth trackers are now directly integrated with Google Assistant

Tile recently introduced a whole swath of new Bluetooth trackers and, to complement its new releases, the company has now directly its products with Google Assistant. The feature was announced last month, but is now live for all.

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Stereo speaker pairing comes to the original Google Home and Home Mini

Google Home owners have been clamoring for years for an option to set up speaker pairs to get stereo sound. The feature rolled out to the Home Max, Insignia's cheap Assistant speakers, and the new Nest Mini, but Google's original Home and Home Mini were left out. Now, the feature is available on both.

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Google Assistant on the Pixel 4 can be 'brief' with its answers

We've all been there: We ask Google Assistant a simple question and it decides to recite a 5-minute monologue for us. Brevity has been a long-standing request. It was first introduced for routines then for light controls on speakers, and now it'll be an option for all speech output on the new Assistant, which is available on the Pixel 4.

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[Update: Full Google Assistant too] Google Assistant Actions add developer support for the Cantonese dialect

Google Assistant’s expansion story wouldn’t be as impressive without the support for regional dialects and Actions (third-party apps for the virtual helper). Bolstering its presence in regions around China, Actions on Google recently added support for the Cantonese language in Hong Kong. The voice assistant can already interact in far more languages than any of its counterparts, and this new addition will only make its presence stronger.

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Alexa Skills and Google Assistant Actions can eavesdrop on users by abusing silence

When it comes to privacy, smart speakers tread on a fine line between serving commands or playing content and listening in on everything you're doing. However, engineers at Security Research Labs have been able to cross that line using a series of building blocks that comprise Amazon Alexa's Skills as well as Google Assistant's Actions, making us aware of the ways some malevolent developers can capture our data.

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Google Duplex makes its way to New Zealand but only to check business' opening hours

Google's AI-based assistant that makes automated calls to businesses is starting to expand internationally. After a wide rollout in most US states, the service is now coming to New Zealand as part of a limited pilot.

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Google preparing Assistant Continued Conversation for phones

Google has slowly been rolling out Continued Conversation across its smart home devices. Assistant-equipped displays have only received the feature that allows you to keep on talking without shouting "OK Google" for every consecutive command in March. It seems like Google is now also preparing to launch Continued Conversation on phones, as evident by a new Phone setting for the feature which some people are receiving via a Google app update.

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Google's making it stupidly difficult to access the new Assistant if you use a G Suite account

That gesture navigation prerequisite won't be the only issue preventing some folks from using the next-gen Google Assistant on the Pixel 4. Turns out, it also won't work on the device if you are signed into a G Suite account — not just as your primary account, but at all. That means those of us using a G Suite account on the side for school or the day job will have to use a separate work profile as a workaround for now, though Google tells us it is actively working on a fix.

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Google Voice adds proper Siri support before Google Assistant

Google Voice is quite a convenient service letting you call and text internationally for cheap. It's even a proper phone line replacement for some. There's one thing that we've been waiting for the service to implement forever, though: using your voice to initiate a ... Voice call. That's changing, but only if you have an iPhone or an iPad: In a collective slap in the faces of Android and Nest users, you can now talk to Siri to make calls or send text messages through Google's service.

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[Update 2x: Original story correct] The new Google Assistant only works with gesture navigation

The Pixel 4 and 4 XL have been revealed this Tuesday, and they'll bring a faster and more powerful Google Assistant along. It should understand you better with the help of local speech processing and you won't need to keep saying "OK Google" over and over again. However, if you're a fan of the good ol' three-button navigation, you'll be left out in the cold. According to a Google support document, the new Assistant requires gesture navigation to work.

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