Google has bestowed its personal assistant with new abilities, including a change that rewards users for saying “please” and “thank you,” visual lyrics for singing along to songs, and more. The new features span both Google Assistant on mobile devices and Smart Displays, roping in the Nest Hello video doorbell and even bringing a couple fun features for the holidays.
The update brings a number of changes for Smart Display owners, including a faster way to set alarms by swiping up from the home screen, the ability to directly share Google Photos images with contacts, and Broadcast Replies (arriving next week). The update also brings visual lyrics.
With visual lyrics, owners utilizing Google Play Music will see lyrics synchronized with a song when played via Google Assistant. This is achieved using a command like, “Hey Google, play “Song Name” on Google Play Music.”
As well, Google is about to add new books to its “read along” feature, which enables parents to read kids select Disney stories with Google Home playing relevant sound effects. According to Google, it will be adding four new Disney books in “coming weeks,” including Mulan, The Lion King, Frozen, and Aladdin. Device owners can find the full list of currently supported books here.
Alternatively, Google Home now supports directly reading kids more than 50 books, among them being new additions like “A Monster Machine Christmas” and “PAW Patrol’s Holiday Helpers!” The company is also expanding the holiday magic with new support for using Google Assistant to call Santa Claus. Under that feature, kids can say, “Hey Google, Call Santa” to help Santa rehearse for a concert.
Finally, Google Assistant now supports two-way talkback with the Nest Hello video doorbell, making lists, and a “Pretty Please” feature that rewards users for saying “please” and “thank you” when addressing the assistant.