Google Assistant

Google Assistant wants to lend a hand during the hectic holidays

Google Assistant wants to lend a hand during the hectic holidays

The holiday season is a busy one for a lot of folks, and today, Google is positioning Google Assistant as something that can help with that. Google detailed five ways in which the Assistant can help during the madness of the holidays, launching some new features in the process. Chief among these features is new functionality with apps like Google Keep, Any.do, AnyList, or Bring!.

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Stadia Controller Google Assistant button now actually works

Stadia Controller Google Assistant button now actually works

Google just loves its staggered releases, delivering features piecemeal and in waves. That's something traditional gamers might not be used to but it at least shows signs of activity for a gaming platform that started off on the wrong foot. The latest feature to drop is not exactly for Stadia itself but for its special Stadia Controller, finally enabling the Google Assistant button to summon Google Assistant, presuming you're not actually doing anything yet.

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Google Assistant Ambient Mode rolls out to select Android phones

Google Assistant Ambient Mode rolls out to select Android phones

The ideal smart assistant is one that's smart enough to know what you need even before you ask it. Right now, most of the related technologies lean on the reactive side, requiring users to ask what they have planned for that day rather than offering the information when it may matter the most. That is the situation that Android's new Ambient Mode for Google Assistant is trying to address, but only if you're lucky enough to receive the new feature.

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Google smart speakers can now play pre-recorded bedtime stories

Google smart speakers can now play pre-recorded bedtime stories

Google has introduced a new tool called 'My Storytime' that enables parents to read stories to their children even if they're in a different location. The feature works with the new My Storytime website, where adults can upload audio recordings of themselves reading a story. When requested, a Google smart speaker will play this audio, enabling distant parents to stay connected with their kids in a unique way.

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Google Assistant pairs with Duplex to help you buy movie tickets

Google Assistant pairs with Duplex to help you buy movie tickets

Google continues to build out the capabilities of Google Assistant, and beginning today, it can help you buy movie tickets. Google has put its Duplex AI at the center of this functionality, allowing you to ask the Assistant to find showtimes near you. This isn't the first time we've seen Google pair Duplex with the Assistant, as the pair are also used to assist in booking restaurant reservations.

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Google Assistant gets personalized audio news feed feature

Google Assistant gets personalized audio news feed feature

Google Assistant users can now ask for a personalized feed of audio news using their smartphone or smart speaker, Google has announced. The new feature is designed to simplify the process of finding audio news that is relevant to the user's interests and locations, according to Google, which uses its tech to analyze the audio and determine the news each user will hear.

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Google Assistant Ambient Mode rolls out on more Android phone models

Google Assistant Ambient Mode rolls out on more Android phone models

In early September during IFA 2019, Google announced a new version of Ambient Mode for Google Assistant that brought the feature to Android smartphones and tablets. The feature imitates the one originally only made available on smart displays, but it had very limited availability on mobile. That has started to change with users noticing a wider rollout in recent days.

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Traeger WiFi pellet grills now have Alexa and Google Assistant remote control

Traeger WiFi pellet grills now have Alexa and Google Assistant remote control

Smoking meat might seem like a simple matter of combining, well, meat and smoke, but Traeger's range of connected grills are now adding Alexa support for more straightforward remote control. Owners of Traeger WiFIRE-enabled models will be able to use Amazon's assistant both to control their pellet grill and to remotely check its current status.

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Pixel 4 compact Google Assistant UI rolls out to some Pixel 3 and 3 XL phones

Pixel 4 compact Google Assistant UI rolls out to some Pixel 3 and 3 XL phones

Google seems to be pushing Assistant as its one interface to rule them all, connecting users to its services no matter what device they're on. That, however, doesn't mean Google Assistant needs to be "in your face", especially during the brief moments you interact with it. That kind of "ambient computing" is what Google is now trying to push, starting with the more compact Google Assistant in the Pixel 4 that has now started to land on the Pixel 3 as well.

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Google Assistant Android Auto bug keeps the AI helper silent

Google Assistant Android Auto bug keeps the AI helper silent

If recent developments, or lack thereof, with Android Auto is any indicator, Google's thrust in the in-vehicle infotainment market might be on the decline. It promised an upgraded Android Auto experience last I/O 2019 in May but missed the deadline to roll Assistant on Android Auto properly with Android 10. If that weren't bad enough, users have started experiencing problems not only with the app itself but now with Google Assistant running on Android Auto as well.

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I’ve given smart speakers as gifts before – I won’t do it again

I’ve given smart speakers as gifts before – I won’t do it again

Black Friday is coming but the holiday shopping season isn't waiting for its traditional kick-off, though while tech deals may be everywhere you look, there are some gadgets I won't be putting into my cart. Smart speakers and, more recently, smart displays have become a go-to gift for many over the past few years, but in 2019 they may not be quite so warmly received.

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Philips’ small smart TV brings Google Assistant to the kitchen

Philips’ small smart TV brings Google Assistant to the kitchen

Typically, when a company devotes an announcement to a single TV, it's some kind of cutting-edge behemoth that costs an arm and a leg. That isn't the case with the latest TV from Philips, which clocks in at a mere 24-inches and carries a price tag of $299.99. While that might suggest a rather unexciting TV, Philips would clearly beg to differ.

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