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assistant routines

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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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Google Assistant adds native support for Rachio, LeakSmart, and other sprinklers and leak detectors

Google Assistant is growing ever more useful with bazillions of actions and abilities. What makes it really powerful is its integration with smart home tech, allowing us to control our houses with nothing but our voice. While more and more categories of home automation products are natively supported by the Assistant, others have to be specifically addressed by saying "Ok Google, ask [some device] to [do some action]." Until recently, sprinklers and pipe leak detectors fell into the latter category, but now, Google has announced that several companies have added native Assistant integration, starting with Rachio, Rain Bird, LeakSmart, and Flo by Moen.

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Google is re-adding routine support to Assistant on Chromebooks

Google Assistant is kind of a mess on Chrome OS right now. It's still only officially available on the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate, and both devices have completely different implementations — the Pixelbook runs Assistant as an Android app, while the Pixel Slate has a native version (which will eventually come to the Pixelbook and other models). Apparently, the Slate version never supported Google Assistant routines, but that will soon be fixed.

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Assistant Routine integration in the Google Clock app is now live

Google revealed that its Assistant Routines would be integrated into the Clock app just a couple of days ago, giving you information like the day's weather, your upcoming calendar, and other configurable settings after the alarm is dismissed. At the time, we were told the feature would be rolling out this week, and Google seems to have just barely made that cutoff. Google Assistant Routine integration into the Clock app is now live.

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Custom routines for Google Assistant are going live

Announced yesterday at I/O, custom routines for Google Assistant are going live now. Custom routines allow you to set a command word or phrase and choose from a range of actions and outputs from the Assistant, including the ability to set custom voice feedback from the Assistant, which should make for all kinds of fun. You'll also be able to send the Assistant any command you want - just type it into the "Add action" field.

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