Android Police

Smart Displays

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[Update: New clocks, too] Assistant smart displays get new 'Routines' button

Assistant-powered smart displays have all the voice access features you get with the Assistant speakers, but sometimes it's easier to press a button. There's a new button on Assistant smart displays today, offering quick access to your routines. If you have a smart display, the button is probably already waiting for you.

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[Update: Live, timers too] You can finally just say 'stop' to silence your Google Home and Smart Display alarms

Google is sharing some pretty cool stuff at I/O this year, but this one new feature is certainly among the biggest: starting today, users in English-speaking locales will be able to stop ringing alarms and timers on Google Home and Smart Display devices simply by saying "stop," no hotword required.

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YouTube TV gets an on-screen guide for smart displays

A smart display has numerous uses, many of which you don't "get" until you have one in your home. For example, you can watch video while you buzz around the kitchen. That's the use case Google showed in its Nest Hub Max demo. Google's Rick Osterloh also casually revealed a new YouTube TV feature: an on-screen guide.

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Google Search and Assistant are getting new instructional chops and deeper app/service integration

As part of the Google I/O brouhaha, Google is announcing a handful of changes related to Search and the Assistant, all of which should help you get to the information you need faster — albeit in slightly different ways. First, Search will soon support a so-called "HowTo" markup schema for web developers and video makers, which will allow for their content to appear as results in related how-to queries. Second, Google is expanding App Actions to more deeply integrate a few new types of services including health, finance, and ride-sharing into the Assistant.

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Google Assistant will soon have more interactive visual content on Android and smart displays

Google Assistant smart displays are (in their current form) smart speakers with some level of visual feedback. Asking for the weather shows you the forecast for the week, asking for the news can show a video news briefing, and so on. There are only a handful of interactive smart display experiences right now (like step-by-step cooking), but now Google is giving developers the tools they need to create them.

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Nest Hub Max lands at the FCC, likely to be announced today

For the past couple of years, Google I/O has been devoid of any hardware announcements, leaving all of Google's new gadget introduction until the Pixel event in October. But 2019 is promising to be different: we know the new Pixel 3a will be introduced today, but it won't likely be the only new device on show. The rumored Nest Hub Max might make an appearance as well.

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[Update: Pre-orders live in Germany too] Assistant on Smart Displays speaks French and German, as Lenovo launches its display in France

Assistant-enabled smart displays came out about a year ago, but they could exclusively speak English until they learned Canadian French recently. Because of this dialect limitation, the devices have only been available for sale in the US, UK, and Australia. However, newly added support for French and German means they are coming to Europe as well.

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Rakuten members can get a Google Home Hub for just $85 ($45 off)

Google may be working on a larger Hub, but not everything requires a big screen. If you don't care to make video calls, the seven-inch Google Home Hub can likely fulfill all your smart display needs. It's going for $130 just about everywhere lately, but right now, you can grab one in either chalk or charcoal for just $85 at Rakuten.

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Google Home Hub may launch in Canada soon, as Smart Displays add French Canadian support

In the past couple of years, Google has only added new language support for Assistant on a product when that particular product went officially on sale in the dialect's corresponding country. For example, the Home speakers began speaking Italian a few days before they launched on the Store in Italy, same for Spanish and Spain/Mexico, Chinese and Taiwan, etc... you get the gist. So upon seeing that Smart Displays can now speak French Canadian, it's easy to extrapolate that the Home Hub may soon be coming to Canada.

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Your Smart Display lets you control individual speaker volumes in a group

One of the joys of having a few smart speakers around the house is being able to play music in all the rooms simultaneously, in sync, and without a complicated wired setup. But controlling volume levels across the house isn't easy, especially when you're in the kitchen and you can hear the bedroom speaker blasting super loudly and drowning out everything else. If you have a Smart Display, you can now control individual speaker volumes as well as group volume with a neat dedicated interface.

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