Android Police

Google Assistant

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Google Assistant can now help book rides from Uber, Lyft, and others

Chances are, you've paid more than you needed to for a ride because you didn't feel like manually comparing the rates of all your options. Today, Google announced it's got a way to ameliorate such situations: the Google Assistant will soon be able to provide you a handy list of ride providers going to your destination, along with time estimates and pricing information.

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[Deal Alert] Riva Audio's Arena and Festival Google Assistant speakers are up to $200 off

A Google Home is far from your only choice if you want a speaker with Assistant support. Tons of companies are making them now — including Riva Audio, whose Arena and Festival speakers are currently on sale for $100 and $200 off, respectively.

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Developers can now sell digital goods via Assistant Actions

Google has allowed developers to sell physical items from Assistant in the past, but now it's expanding that to digital goods and services. That means developers can sell things like subscriptions or in-game content via custom Actions without ever bouncing you out of Assistant. There are also improvements coming to Google sign-ins to make this process easier. And guess what? It's US-only to start. Shocking, I know.

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Google Assistant redesign is official: bigger visuals, fresh controls, and new tools for developers

As some of you may have noticed, the Google Assistant on phones started receiving some visual tweaks in recent weeks. The new look has been rolling out to select users, including fresh material design elements and much bolder cards. Google has now officially announced these Assistant updates and published two blog posts outlining the changes.

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[Update: LG support details] Google Assistant for TV learns more languages

AI is not limited to simply phones and speakers anymore as TV manufacturers continue to add extra capabilities to their flatscreens. Smart TVs are essentially mini computers running operating systems such as Tizen, webOS, and of course Android TV. Google has made it possible for manufacturers to integrate Google Assistant into their products even if they don’t use Android TV, something LG has been doing this year. Until recently, the AI was limited to English, but this is beginning to change.

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[Update: Charcoal color] 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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New Roku boxes offer 4K HDR and Google Assistant support

Roku has leveraged low prices and vast app support to become one of the most well-known media streamer platforms. Devices like the Roku Stick are basically impulse purchases at this point. Today, some of Roku's cheapest streaming boxes are getting new capabilities. The updated Premiere is getting 4K HDR support, and the new Premiere+ adds 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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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 View, or LG 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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