Google's 2020 Halloween treats: AR ghosts, spooky ringtones, magic cats

Google is one of the companies offering some fun digital treats for Halloween this year, ones that you can enjoy using your phone and, for Nest owners, your smart doorbell. The content includes new AR experiences involving ghosts and skeletons, as well as special spooky doorbell ringtones for Halloween, and even new Google Assistant fun.

One of the benefits that come with a smart doorbell is the ability to change the ringtone to just about anything you'd like using your smartphone. The Nest Hello Video Doorbell is no exception, which Google having released various seasonal ringtones for different holidays in the past. This year is no different with a new array of Halloween-themed ringtones.

Google Assistant is likewise getting in on the Halloween fun with some seasonal content — in this case, songs, riddles, and haunted 'vibes' that can be played over any Assistant-enabled device. Users can access these sound effects by saying, "Hey Google, haunt my house." Assuming you have smart lights set up, Google says this command will make them flash orange, green, and violet for an extra spooky atmosphere, as well as playing audio.

Other new commands related to Halloween include things like, "Hey Google, what should I be for Halloween?" and "Hey Google, sing the Halloween song." For English-speaking users located in the US, they can also ask Google Assistant to tell them a riddle. The song, in contrast, is available in several languages, including English, Arabic, Japanese, Spanish, and more.

Likewise, Google Search has been updated with some Halloween fun — users can expect the return of Google's 2016 Magic Cat Academy Doodle, this time taking players on an aquatic adventure (click the doodle to play the game in your browser).

The aforementioned AR experiences are available through the Google app by searching for things like Jack-o-lantern, skeleton, and Halloween. The AR characters (when available) will be presented in the search results; tap on them and you'll be able to view them in your real-life environment through your phone, record videos with it, and capture pictures with the AR character.