Google Assistant

Free Nest Mini released to some YouTube Premium subscribers

Free Nest Mini released to some YouTube Premium subscribers

A new free Nest Mini has appeared in a sort of "offer" delivered to a number of subscribers to YouTube Premium. This isn't the first time Google's delivered their Google Assistant speaker devices to subscribers to their services. This usually signals that Google is preparing to release a new model - but it's also part of their overarching efforts to get as many Google Assistant devices as possible into the hands of users and potential users.

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Google Assistant may soon confirm some purchases by voice

Google Assistant may soon confirm some purchases by voice

Remember the almost comical incident more than three years ago when Amazon Echo speakers started ordering dollhouses because a TV anchor said so? Those things are long behind us and people have been less than enthusiastic about the prospect of making big orders without any visual confirmation from their phone at the very least. But for a certain class of users, that may be the only kind of interaction they may be able to make which is why Google is now testing an accessibility feature that would let some users confirm purchases by voice alone.

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Google Nest Hub Max to offer an easier experience for seniors

Google Nest Hub Max to offer an easier experience for seniors

COVID-19 measures, particularly lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders, have taken a toll on everyone. For one group in particular, however, these days have been more emotionally and psychologically draining because of being socially isolated even from their loved ones. These are the high-risk seniors that may, unfortunately, be living by themselves or in retirement communities away from children and grandchildren. Google is now reaching out to these people with Nest Hub Max units and a new experience fine-tuned for their particular needs.

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Google Assistant gets new hotword sensitivity setting for speakers

Google Assistant gets new hotword sensitivity setting for speakers

Google has announced a new feature for Google Assistant that will make it easier to adjust your smart speaker or smart display to the ambient environment in which it is located. Users can now change Google Assistant's sensitivity to the hotwork "Hey Google," increasing its odds of hearing you in a noisy room or decreasing its number of false activations in particularly quiet rooms.

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Google Home app finally has a “Hey, Google” sensitivity slider

Google Home app finally has a “Hey, Google” sensitivity slider

As smart and somewhat useful smart speakers and smart assistants have become, they have also become good for one unintended purpose. They have sometimes become the butt of jokes when citing comical anecdotes about smart speakers suddenly butting into conversations. They have also become sources of horror stories about unintentionally recording or, worse, sending audio clips that were not even meant to be heard by others. Fortunately, Google is now letting users decide how well or how hard Google Assistant will hear them with a new setting.

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Google Assistant smart speakers can now directly play audiobook samples

Google Assistant smart speakers can now directly play audiobook samples

If you own a Google Nest or Google Home smart speaker and use it to listen to audiobooks while at home, you'll find the product's latest support particularly useful: samples. As of now, Google Nest and Home speakers can be used to download and listen to audiobook samples before the user purchases the product, giving them a chance to hear the audio and decide if they want the entire book.

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Review: Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab with Google Assistant

Review: Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab with Google Assistant

Lenovo is back with another smart home device: the Yoga Smart Tab with Google Assistant. This product looks like a tablet, but with some extra features you won't find on an ordinary slate. The device packs Google Assistant, as its name suggests, and it can function as a smart display -- one that includes a nifty built-in hinged kickstand that enables users to literally hang the tablet from a nail or hook. Is the Yoga Smart Tab better than a dedicated smart display? Read on to find out.

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The new Google Assistant on Pixel 4 is finally getting G Suite friendly

The new Google Assistant on Pixel 4 is finally getting G Suite friendly

Google is quietly removing one of its most frustrating limitations on the Google Assistant, finally allowing people with G Suite accounts to use the newest Assistant UI and its features. Somewhat confusingly, although those with G Suite accounts - paid versions of Google's free apps - are usually giving the company money for their service, they typically end up missing out on the latest features for things like the Assistant.

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Polestar reveals the Android-powered car’s next big leap

Polestar reveals the Android-powered car’s next big leap

Electric vehicle startup Polestar is teasing the next iteration of its Android-powered dashboard, complete with deep personalization to each driver and attention-based instruments. The new concepts look beyond the Android Automotive-based Polestar 2, which is expected to be the first to use Google's dashboard-specific version of the OS.

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OnePlus Google Assistant Ambient Mode starts rolling out

OnePlus Google Assistant Ambient Mode starts rolling out

Google is pushing its now-rebranded Nest suite of products, particularly the Nest Home speakers, as the nerve center of the smart home. Fortunately, it doesn't expect everyone to have a smart speaker and especially a smart display at every single room in the house. What most people do have is an Android phone and, thanks to the new Ambient Mode feature that's starting to roll out now, almost any recent OnePlus phone can become a makeshift smart display when it's doing nothing while charging on your bedside table.

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Samsung Galaxy Home Mini throws pre-launch shade at Siri

Samsung Galaxy Home Mini throws pre-launch shade at Siri

The Samsung smart speaker called Galaxy Home Mini leaked in a release-ready configuration today tossing a jab at Apple's smart assistant Siri (unofficially, of course). The video comes courtesy of an unnamed source* who would appear to have been at a location where several new Samsung products were being shown. This new smart speaker will apparently allow you, the user to "make it say literally anything you want" - like what we see in the video below: "At least I'm better than Siri."

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Google Assistant can now tell you where your Tile was last seen

Google Assistant can now tell you where your Tile was last seen

Some things, like keys and remote controls, are often too easy to misplace, which is one of the reasons Bluetooth trackers like Tile were born. But when you're frantically searching for them, the last thing you'd want to be doing is fiddling with your phone. Fortunately, if you have a Google Assistant-powered device, like a speaker or, OK, your phone, all you need to do is ask where it is or even ring your keys, not your phone.

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