Android Police

Google Assistant

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The Google Assistant app is rolling out dark mode cards, and they look pretty terrible

Dark mode is all the rage on Android right now, with many of even Google's own apps either having or being in the process of adding support for shadier themes (and it's not just Google apps). Soon, Android itself will support a darker palette at the OS level - something many in the community feel is years overdue. Now, it seems the Assistant UI is getting in on the action, and the team's first stab has, to put it plainly, not gone well. Just look at these screenshots.

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Google Assistant is now available in Polish

Beta tests for Google Assistant's Polish language support have been going on for several months, so it's no surprise to see the feature officially launch. If you speak Polish, you will now (or soon, at least) be able to use Assistant in that language. Developers can also build Actions on Google in Polish.

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This Google Home and Amazon Echo hack lets you change your voice AI hotword — but it's far from elegant

Google and Amazon are both constantly improving the capabilities of their voice AIs, but there are some issues that tech giants have little incentive to fix. For instance, from a branding standpoint it makes no sense to let people change their assistant hotword from "Okay Google" or "Alexa" to anything else - even if that's what users want (and it definitely, definitely is). It's this consumer desire, along with the issue of user privacy, that prompted designers Bjørn Karmann and Tore Knudsen to create a Google Home/Amazon Echo hack called Project Alias.

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Every product with Google Assistant announced at CES 2019

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Last year's Consumer Electronics Show brought some of the first third-party devices with Google Assistant — Google's virtual helper had only been released a few months prior. This year, we saw a wide variety of devices running Assisant. Beyond the usual mix of smart lights and speakers, there are mirrors, electric car chargers, water systems, and even Insant Pots with Assistant.

For your reading enjoyment, this is every product announced at CES 2019 with Google Assistant (or Google Assistant integration), in no particular order.

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Assistant icon shows up on the Google.com mobile page

Google Assistant is everywhere. On your phone, tablet, smart speaker, watch, car, TV, and even your oven. Even on your phone, there are several ways to trigger Assistant, from saying "Ok Google" to tapping and holding the home button or using the icon in the Google search bar. And now, there's a new way to open Assistant from the Google.com mobile homepage.

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Innit now has a Google Assistant Smart Display action to aid you in the kitchen

A key feature of Smart Displays such as the Google Home Hub is that they can be used to help you prepare dinner by presenting hands-free, step-by-step recipes for you to follow. This is open to developers if they want to add their own actions, just like BuzzFeed's Tasty did recently. Now, Innit is getting in on the act.

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Philips Hue bulbs are getting more power-on options, new sleep and wake functionality with Google Assistant

Last month, Hue bulbs were updated with the option to use their most recent settings when powering on, rather than coming on at full brightness. Hue has now announced that users will soon be able to choose what setting lights power on with — full brightness, the last used setting, or a user-defined custom setting. The bulbs are also getting new sleep and wake functionality with Google Assistant, meant to replicate sunset and sunrise.

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Google Assistant has a Disney-esque musical ride at CES — see for yourself in VR

When it comes to massive trade shows like CES, many companies feel the need to get extravagant with booth installations just to stand out from the crowd. Case in point: Google set up a musical, Small World-style ride for Assistant that is the very definition of over-the-top. Thankfully, even those of us who aren't attending the event can give this monstrosity a virtual ride through a 360-degree video posted on YouTube.

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Google Assistant is coming to the Sonos One and Beam, with older models to follow

I think it's fair to say that we've seen some questionably useful Google Assistant integrations this CES, and will no doubt see a great many more in the near future. That's why it's a special occasion when a heavily-demanded, long-due integration is announced, as is the case with Google Assistant for the Sonos One and Sonos Beam.

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Google Assistant gains flight check-ins, hotel booking, Interpreter Mode, and broadens lockscreen support

Google Assistant is the belle of the ball at CES 2019, with hardware partnerships popping up left, right, and center. What better time, then, for Google to announce a slew of shiny new features for the increasingly (artificially) intelligent helper? Among the updates comes flight check-ins, hotel booking, a new language interpreter mode, and the extension of Assistant on the lockscreen to all Android phones.

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