Some people will have taken to working from home better than others as we all adjust to the new normal, but it's always good to have a little helping hand. If you're struggling to stay on schedule with your work, or could just do with the occasional moral support, this latest Google Assistant routine feature could be just what you need.
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 is poised to launch its new lineup of smart home products on September 30, and one of the new additions will be a smart speaker branded under the Nest Audio name. Earlier this summer we heard rumors about a premium Google Home successor and got an early, unflattering look when the device passed through the FCC. Google gifted us a video last month, and just a few days ago, the branding for the speaker was uncovered. Now we've got official product photos and some exclusive details to share.
The Google Home app is core to how you control and interact with dozens of different devices, so it's understandably one of Google's most feature-packed applications. Now it's only getting more interesting with version 2.28, as the new update hints at the upcoming rebranding of Android TV, as well as adds some new features surrounding routines and home presence-sensing that were teased earlier this year.
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.
Towards the end of last month, Google announced some new features for its Snapshot Assistant interface which bring it closer to what we always hoped Google Now would become. Among the new capabilities was a birthday reminder, said to be coming soon to English-speaking markets along with a notification so that you can't miss it. These appear to be functional now, so keep an eye out for them.
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.
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.