When you upgrade to Android 11, you might notice a mysterious-sounding "X Google enrollment" notification appear on first boot, saying "enrollment is running in the background." It disappears after a few seconds, and though it might sound odd, it's no cause for concern: It's just related to the Google Assistant. In fact, Google plans on tweaking the notification in the future to be more clear about what's going on.
Google has taken down the Assistant-integrated AutoVoice Action again, for the second time in a year. This time, the company claims the action "promotes content that advocates hate or violence or promotes discrimination," apparently because someone in Germany stringed together a clearly custom command that made the Assistant spout off some hate speech.
Google will discontinue Play Music this month, and as such, the company is hard at work improving YouTube Music. One of these enhancements revolves around casting and Google Assistant. Songs you ask the Assistant to play while you cast will now show up in your YouTube Music queue on your phone, and when you start playback via the Assistant, you can tap into the queue by casting to the speaker or display in question.
The phasing out of Play Music has been in progress for a while, and the whole service is set to be discontinued this month. It doesn't come as much of a surprise, then, that Google has begun to transition the default music player on Assistant devices from Play Music to YouTube Music. This also means that most users are now getting ads in between their own songs.
Android gives you separate volume control for media, notifications, and alarms, but Google appears to be working on adding a fourth slider to the mix. The AOSP Android 11 code suggests that the company is at least considering to add dedicated volume control for voice assistants, including but not limited to Google Assistant.
A new lockscreen notification loaded with command shortcuts for the Google Assistant has started appearing for some in what we assume is a test. The notification is silent, only appears when the phone is locked, is dismissable, and can bug out a bit in certain dark mode implementations, like Samsung's One UI.
Back in 2018, Google touted that the Assistant worked on over 10,000 smart home gadgets from 1,000 different brands — that's quite a lot of speakers, smart bulbs, cameras, and other hardware that the Assistant can either control or is built into. But in the two intervening years, that number has further exploded, and today Google claims that the Assistant now works with over 50,000 devices from over 5,500 brands. That's some serious growth.
Google has taken today to make a handful of new and recently spotted changes in Assistant's Snapshot interface official, while also revealing a whole new way to access it. Just say "Hey Google, show me my day" to see your Snapshot, loaded with cards showing timely details from your agenda, weather, commute, and to-dos, plus restaurant, podcast, and recipe recommendations — all among an even bigger list of potentially useful stuff.
Play Music will disappear over the next few months, starting with South Africa and New Zealand in September and the rest of the world following in October. While YouTube Music (YTM) is already an almost full-fledged (albeitquirky) replacement in the US and many parts of Europe, the same can't be said for some other countries. In some, YTM isn't available as a default music provider in the Assistant, and there's no proper voice control for Google's latest streaming service, either.
In another "I can't believe it couldn't already do that" feature addition, YouTube Music is now testing the ability to pick and play your personal playlists from the Google Assistant. So the next time you need to fire up that "Summer 2017 workout jams" playlist, you can just ask the Assistant with your voice.