Android Police

Google Assistant

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Google Assistant notes and lists are live for some, still no Keep integration though

Google has been promising proper list and note integration in Assistant for months now, and we've seen hints of it even before that, but today brings us just a little bit closer to that promise being fulfilled. Both note and list support is rolling out to Assistant (on phones and Google Homes) now, but you can't pick a third-party app to manage them just yet. So if you're itching for the Google Keep integration, you may need to be a bit more patient.

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Google Assistant on Android TV now working in Spanish — with a few regional limitations

Google has just silently rolled out Spanish language support for its Assistant on Android TV, spotted via a new localization page for the product category. There are a few irregularities right now, though, such as inconsistent behavior depending on precisely which setting you flip it to, and Google's support page for the Assistant on Android TV hasn't been updated to mention the new support just yet. 

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Google Assistant routines are now official in many languages/countries (but not Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, or Sweden)

Google Assistant routines can save you a lot of time by executing multiple commands in succession after you say a simple sentence. They started off as "My Day," which brought a simple morning routine, but then multiple routines were enabled, as were custom routines, and finally scheduled routines. But until recently, they were only officially available if you set your Assistant to use English (US). Now, they're supported in many more language/country combinations.

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Google Assistant versions of Marshall's retro-inspired smart speakers are now available

Marshall announced its first smart speakers, the Acton II and Stanmore II, back in August. They released in October, the initial batch packing Amazon's Alexa. Marshall said Google Assistant models were to follow later in the year. Well, it's later, and the company made good on its word: Assistant-compatible versions of the Acton II and Stanmore II are now available.

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Google is testing a new UI for Assistant that puts Explore and your visual snapshot in the bottom bar

Google has toyed with Assistant's interface on Android countless times so far, adding a keyboard input method, Google Lens, then the Explore section, and finally the Now-like interface of upcoming cards (aka "visual snapshot"). But two things have puzzled me about it: one is that Explore and Visual Snapshot were almost invisible to people and I always had to explain where the icons were and what the did, and two is that getting to your Assistant's settings was an even more obscure process, and it was almost easier to just do it from the Google Home app than Assistant. Well, it seems that Google is working on solving at least the first of these problems.

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Tip: Google Assistant's Broadcast replies are live

Every few weeks, Google announces (and sometimes re-announces) a bunch of new Assistant features, so it's getting a little difficult to keep track of all of them. Among those was an option to reply to broadcasts, and now it's live.

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AI will soon decide what you hear in Google Assistant news briefings

The news reports you get from Google Assistant are about to get a whole lot smarter, or so says Google. The same artificial intelligence that powers the Google News app is coming to Assistant. Google pitches the new system as a way to get quick, personalized news in audio form throughout the day.

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A smaller, less distracting version of Google Assistant is now rolling out to Maps

After teasing a navigation-optimized Google Assistant for Maps at I/O 2018, Google is now rolling out the feature to Android users. The new version of Google Assistant in Maps is smaller, less distracting, and executes more commands in the background.

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Beware when buying third-party Google Assistant speakers and Smart Displays, updates and features are not equal

Another year, another category of Google-compatible products has flooded the market. A few years ago, it was the Chromecast, then it was the Google Home and Home Mini, and now it's the Google Home Hub. With every first-party release comes a slew of third-party alternatives, boasting the same features, same integrations, same functions, but with different designs and prices. On paper, they should be equal to Google's, but time and time again, we've learned that they're not.

Never though have the lines blurred as much as with the Home Hub and its Lenovo and JBL brethren. They look almost the same, both on the outside and in their interface, and Google pushed them earlier than its Home Hub, advertising them and talking about them as if they were its own.

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