Android Police

Google Assistant

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Google Assistant's new Material visual responses start rolling out to some users

Back at I/O 2018, Google announced two changes to the design and experience of Assistant on your phone. The first one, the visual snapshot that brings Google Now-like cards of your day, rolled out a couple of months ago (even though most of us still don't have the fancy swipe-up gesture to activate it); but the second one, which involves bigger cards and more visual responses, has just started showing up for some users.

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Google Home Hub smart display leaked ahead of October event, no camera in sight

Google announced Assistant would work on displays a while back, but so far only third-parties have launched hardware. A new leak suggests Google is aiming to launch its own Assistant smart display called the Home Hub. Some leaked renders purport to show a device that looks like the offspring of a Chromebook and a Google Home speaker.

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InBrief
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Google Assistant adds support for popular Korean streaming service Bugs Music

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Tip: Hide personal results from your Smart Display if you don't want to spoil surprises or share your content recommendations

Having a Google Assistant Smart Display, such as the LenovoJBL Link ViewLG ThinQ WK9, is very convenient around the house. But if you don't pay attention, you may end up with unwanted privacy concerns because of the mere fact that these displays don't differentiate between people looking at them. They know voices and will only respond to you, but they don't know faces. If there's a personal card on the homescreen, anyone can read it or tap it to see more. Which is how you may end up revealing your surprise party plans to your spouse and your full calendar to boot.

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Google Assistant can speak Danish and Norwegian

Google has been testing more language support for Assistant in several countries including Denmark and Norway. Now, it seems that those two languages are either going live for everyone or nearly about to do so.

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Google Home and Home Mini are coming to South Korea next week

Back in May, Google announced that it would be bringing its Home smart speakers to seven new countries, including South Korea. Now, the wait is almost over as the Google Store in Korea has began listing the Home and Home Mini as coming soon. The official launch should happen next week.

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Tip: You can video call your Smart Display at home from your phone (with both on the same Duo account)

If you have one of the fancy new Assistant Smart Displays, be it the already available Lenovo or the soon-to-be-released JBL Link View, odds are you're going to set up Duo on it and use it for video calls. One neat feature that you may not be aware of, though, is that you can video call your display from your phone, with both set up to use the same Duo account.

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Tip: Google Assistant is trilingual (and more), but only on phones

Last week, Google officially rolled out bilingual support for Assistant, but as with everything related to Assistant and languages, there were limitations. You can only choose between six main languages (and a few country variants) as the main option, and you're restricted even further when it comes to your secondary language. Turns out there's a small trick to make Assistant understand more than these, but only on your phone if it's set to that other language.

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Tip: If you can't video call your contacts on Duo via Assistant (or Smart Displays), try saving their numbers as '+ country code'

A few weeks ago, the Google Duo team rolled out the option to place a video call through Assistant. All you had to say was "Ok Google, video call contact_name" and Duo would open up and make the call to that person. However, at the time, I thought the feature wasn't live for me. Assistant would tell me it's calling the correct person, Duo would open, but it would stay on the main screen, not placing the call. Clearly, something was amiss and I thought it was a bug that would be fixed with time. It wasn't until a few days ago that I figured out the reason it wasn't working: my contacts had their numbers either saved without a country code or with 00 as the international prefix.

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Your Google Assistant is bilingual starting today — at least, for any pair of six specific languages

Google's Assistant has been making great strides in both functionality and speech recognition since its original release in the far off year of 2016. In fact, Google says that it has improved so much that, starting today, it can recognize two different languages interchangeably. Your Google Home is now bilingual, something no other digital assistant can do — at least, since Google's other assistant, Google Now. But there is a caveat: it supports only two languages among a list of six.

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