In July, Google announced that smart home appliance makers would be able to publish Assistant routines featuring their own Actions and ones recommended from partner brands. Amazon seems to be raising that move with its own: user-shareable Alexa routines.
Lenovo first got into the smart clock biz last year, with the creatively named Lenovo Smart Clock. That device was essentially a tiny Google Assistant-powered smart display positioned as a clock replacement. It was a neat idea, but an introductory MSRP of $80 made it a tough sell. Lenovo is trying again this year with the Smart Clock Essential, a smaller, simpler, less expensive take on the same idea.
For those of you who use your Assistant-equipped Smart Displays and speakers to broadcast music around different rooms of the house at the same time, Google has made a small improvement. Devices and cast targets can now be added and removed on the fly without creating new groups, which should make things a little more convenient for some.
With Google I/O falling victim to a global pandemic this year, a whole round of developments on Google Assistant has gone unannounced. But the company has made up for that opportunity with a presentation at the Voice Global 2020 virtual summit, revealing new tools for developers and new expectations for consumers when they interact with smart displays and speakers going forward.
Google is putting on a sale to move units of its original smart speaker, the Google Home, out from stores and into your residence. If you want or need one for any reason, you can get one from anywhere (and we mean anywhere) for half-off.
Happen to have a bit more time and attention to devote to a hobby? Why not listen to audiobooks on your capable Google Assistant speaker or display? Google has made it easier for its smart device owners to sample and buy titles without having to use your phone or computer.
Marshall has launched a few smart speakers, including the hefty Stanmore II. The new Uxbridge speaker won't take up nearly as much room on your shelf, but it has the same classic Marshall styling and support for voice assistants. Although, it won't have Google Assistant at launch.