Ever since Assistant rolled out, you have been able to ask it to play any YouTube music video you wanted, except you had to say "watch [this video] on YouTube" from your phone, or if you were using a Google Home speaker, you could ask to "play [something] on the tv/chromecast." The "watch," "on YouTube," and, "on tv" distinctions had to be used, because Assistant considered YouTube as a video source (like Netflix) and not a music one (like Play Music). However, many of you go to YouTube as the first (and maybe only) music source and if you're one of these users, you'll be happy to know you can finally tell Assistant to set YouTube as your default music provider. Read More
In the personal assistance arms race, the two real options for Android users are Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa, and both companies have realized that victory will require ubiquity—not as the final result, but as the means. To that end, each has opened its platform up for third-party hardware, and Sony's (un)imaginatively named LF-S50G takes advantage of Google's Assistant in the same way the first party Google Home does, seasoned with a few unique features like gesture controls and a clock.
At around $200, though, I don't think Sony's speaker is worth the extra cash for most people over the $130 Google Home, unless you have particular requirements. Read More
Google's software Assistant and corresponding Home hardware are there to answer your questions (within certain limits), but it may not always be Google that answers. In some circumstances, including things like service outages, it looks like Google is able to hand off questions it would typically answer to third-party apps or services. With your consent, of course. Read More
Buying Google's gadgets can be very difficult if you live in a country where they're not officially available. Overpriced black markets, questionable imports, and difficulty of finding support are some of the issues you face. But after today, that won't be the case for Android and Google fans in Singapore as the official Store is now launched in their country. Read More
Google's Find My Device service offers an invaluable tool for tracking down a missing phone or tablet, combining GPS positioning with an audible alert to let you quickly locate your missing hardware. And with tools to remotely lock or erase your device, it also helps ensure your data's safe until you get your hands back on your gear. But for as useful as it can be, you still need access to some device in order to perform the search, and especially if you keep your phone and laptop in the same bag, that can be a problem. Fortunately, it's also one that Google Home is ready to solve. Read More
Google Voice Search is dead. Cue in somber music.
For many years before Google Assistant was a thing, Android had a microphone you could trigger to perform actions. It had actions such as calls, texts, emails, music back in 2010, more than 10 languages supported way back in 2012, introduced nicknames and relationships such as "mom" and "husband" in 2014, and had multilingual support also in 2014. Read More
Ikea's Tradfri are one of the cheapest smart lighting solutions around and they're available and tailored for several countries around the world. For a while though, the only smart way to control them was through the Android and iOS app - no voice assistant was compatible. Then Alexa followed by HomeKit were supported and Google Home users were left waiting... and waiting... and waiting until today. Read More
The Google Assistant can control smart home devices, set calendar reminders, and play almost any piece of music in the world. It's also good at unit conversions, and that happens to be something I use quite often. Not right now, though. Unit conversions are broken on Assistant across all devices. Read More
Almost ever since its release, the Pixel C has been the neglected child of the Google lineup. With every update to Android or new feature, Pixel C users often had to wait weeks if not months to see it come to their devices, not to mention the delay in fixing some outstanding bugs. But despite it all, some held onto their Pixel C because it's the last Android tablet Google has made and now they may be receiving a little reward for their patience: the Google Assistant is finally available for them. Read More