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Google Assistant

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SHIELD TV gets new Assistant capabilities, including broadcasting and security camera streaming

Since the Nvidia SHIELD TV added Google Assistant support last year, it's been slowly catching up with other Assistant-enabled devices by adding new functionality. It looks like a couple more capabilities are now available. At least we think so, as Assistant features across different devices are so inconsistent that it's sometimes hard to tell what's new and what's not.

According to Nvidia, broadcasting messages and the ability to summon your security camera stream on your TV via the Assistant are both new additions. Apparently, if you tell the Assistant on the SHIELD TV to "broadcast that it’s time to watch TV," it will relay the messages to Google Home devices around the house.

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[Deal Alert] Save $50 on JBL Link speakers with Google Assistant

If you're looking to pick up a smart speaker with Google Assistant, but would prefer it to be portable and not resemble an air freshener, JBL has some good options for you, and they've each been discounted by $50 at several retailers.

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Taking a page from Kindle, Amazon’s Alexa is everywhere—can Google's Assistant catch up?

When Amazon upended the publishing industry with the advent of the Kindle, it also paved the way for an approach to luring consumers into a larger sphere of influence, a strategy that is now being successfully adapted for the new age of smart speakers and digital assistants. Both the Kindle and the Echo provide consumers with valuable services, encouraging them to shop and receive content within Amazon's ecosystem. Most of the experiences of its Kindle and Echo hardware also come in the form of apps or services that appear on other manufacturers' devices without additional charge to the consumer, making that connection even stronger.

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Google Assistant and Home can now natively control your smart locks, August and Vivint are the first supported

There are a few smart home device types that your Google Assistant/Home can control natively. Lights, plugs and switches, and thermostats were some of the first, but recently we've seen the addition of dryers, washers, dishwashers, vacuums, fridges, and even scenes. However, one type of device I've been personally waiting for are smart locks. Up until now, all smart locks were, uhm, locked into using the Assistant apps for integration, and not the native smart home capability. So users of August locks had to "ask August to lock the door," and those with Vivint had to "ask Vivint if the door is locked," for example.

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You can now control your Sonos speakers with Google Home through Yonomi

Sonos products are praised for a lot of good reasons, but integration with other smart home ecosystems isn't one of them. Until recently, you'd have had to use some separate hardware or scripts to control any Sonos speaker, but no longer. Google has added support for Yonomi to the Google Home and Google Assistant, and since Yonomi supports Sonos natively, that means that controlling your Sonos speakers with Google Home no longer requires a workaround.

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CES 2018 wrap-up: Even more things to connect to Assistant

Two of the big trends at CES 2018 were AI and smart home stuff. The former was actually a major buzzword, and it became so overused that I stopped caring (thanks, Huawei/Honor). However, the smart home ecosystem continues to thrive and we saw a ton of new products that are launching with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. This post will focus on Assistant; you can expect the Alexa wrap-up a little bit later.

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TiVo will soon work with IFTTT, Google Assistant, and Alexa

Given the thousands of press releases coming out of CES, we almost missed the news that your TiVo DVR/Set-top box will soon integrate in your smart home setup, almost regardless of which platform you've decided to delve into.

Over the next few months, TiVo will have an IFTTT channel with multiple applets to let you automate your TV watching based on other happenings around your house, such as turn on ESPN when you get home, pause when the doorbell rings, and so on. It will also have an Amazon Alexa skill as well as a Google Assistant app. The video below shows a few demos of features, but to be honest, I was left a little confused by the Google Home part of it.

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Even more Google Assistant speakers are on their way, from the likes of Anker, B&O, and Klipsch

According to Google, the company has been selling Home speakers at a rate of more than one per second since the Home Mini was released late last year. That's an incredible statistic, and it doesn't even take into account Assistant speakers from third-parties that have been available since last fall. Last year, we learned about devices from Mobvoi, Panasonic, Sony, and Anker's Zolo sub-brand. They were clearly the tip of the iceberg.

CES 2018 in Las Vegas has been awash with new Assistant products as Google takes the fight to Amazon's Alexa. Even the monorail has been taken over by Assistant branding.

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[Smart] Setting a Google Assistant reminder or calendar event for "tomorrow" is interpreted differently before and after 5 AM

It's 1 AM and you're lying in bed. It's been a long day and your brain is still overworked with everything you did and everything you still need to do tomorrow. To avoid forgetting things, you shout at your Google Home or Google Assistant on your phone, "Ok Google, set a reminder to read Android Police more diligently tomorrow at 10 AM," or you know, something more critical than that (HOW DARE YOU?!). Then you stop and think... it's technically "tomorrow" already, because we're past midnight, so when did Google actually set the reminder for? In 9 hours or in 33 hours?

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SŌLIS SO-2000 and Jensen JVA-500 bring the Google Assistant to your bedside clock

The Google Assistant seems to be in everything at CES 2018 and the latest trend right now, beside the new smart display form factor, is to put it in desk or bedside clocks. We already saw iHome's iGV1 that looks like a Google Home sawn in half with a hidden LED display, and now we have two new clock speakers to look at from SōLIS and Jensen.

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