Google Assistant

LG smart appliances can now talk with Alexa, Google Assistant

LG smart appliances can now talk with Alexa, Google Assistant

Say what you want about LG, but one thing you can’t say is that it’s not willing to play nice with its competitors. While it has its own platforms, like webOS and SmartThinQ, it isn’t beyond opening its doors to rivals. At least if that’s where the market is headed. And since the market does seem to be headed towards the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home, LG has announced that its 2017 line of smart home devices and connected appliances will be able to connect with Alexa and Google Assistant, offering users hands-free access to its products.

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Google Assistant spreads to third-party speakers and more

Google Assistant spreads to third-party speakers and more

On the same day that we learn about a Cortana and Alexa team up, Google has also announced big things for Google Assistant. The number of devices that support Google Assistant will soon be expanding, giving you more options for interacting with it. The list of new devices includes both speakers and appliances, and it sounds like what's being announced today is just the tip of the iceberg.

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Google, Walmart team up to keep Amazon at bay

Google, Walmart team up to keep Amazon at bay

Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods not only shook up the supermarket market, pardon the redundancy, it was also a wake up call to its rivals, showing what the retail giant is capable of or willing to do to get an edge. Google and Walmart are definitely not taking things sitting down but rather than hit Amazon separately, they’ve decided to join forces to deliver a more powerful punch. Starting next month Walmart becomes the third but also the biggest store accessible from Google Express, combining Walmart’s supplies and Google’s machine learning to try and outdo Amazon.

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Google Assistant headphones revealed in code

Google Assistant headphones revealed in code

It isn't all that often we get excited about an update to Android's standard Google app, but on this day of extraterrestrial happenings, we're shaking things up a bit. A beta version of the Google app - version 7.10 to be precise - has landed, and a teardown of the APK reveals something very interesting. As it turns out, Google may be plotting a pair of headphones that run Google Assistant.

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Today Google Home adds Spotify Free

Today Google Home adds Spotify Free

Google Home's vast collection of device and service connections expands today with Spotify Free. This is the version of Spotify users can take advantage of (for free) with commercials and slightly lower-quality audio than a paid account. This update should be made today to add to the ever-growing list of voice-controlled services and devices shown below.

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Honeywell’s Google Home integration supports multi-zone HVAC

Honeywell’s Google Home integration supports multi-zone HVAC

Barking out instructions to your smart thermostat when you're too hot to get off the couch just got a little easier, with Honeywell announcing its connected temperature controllers now play nice with Google Home. The new integration allows for complete control over one or more HVAC zones via Google's smart speaker, and builds on Honeywell's existing support for the Google Assistant on iOS and Android devices. In fact, the company says, this makes it the only thermostat brand to support all of the major smart hubs.

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ECOXGEAR EcoLantern charges phones, plays music, uses Siri and Google Assistant

ECOXGEAR EcoLantern charges phones, plays music, uses Siri and Google Assistant

The folks at ECOXGEAR have created a lantern that's extremely bright, charges smartphones, and has a bottle opener at its base. This device is the ECOXGEAR EcoLantern, and it's also able to connect to your smartphone and speak to you using the iPhone's Siri or Androids' OK Google (Google Assistant). Speakers and waterproofing and lighting and etcetera in tow, this lantern is aimed directly at the "I need one device to do ALL of this stuff whenever I need it" market.

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Chromebook Google Assistant is on the way, OK Google going out

Chromebook Google Assistant is on the way, OK Google going out

Google Assistant is almost in every notable Google product, from the Google Home, Android phones, Android Wear smartwatches, and at least one Android TV. Well, almost. The one remaining holdout is, unsurprisingly, Chrome OS, Google's desktop-like platform. Worry not, Chrome OS fans, you too will soon get your well-deserved AI assistant. And, no, it won't be coming via a still in beta Google Play integration but a feature in its own right, displacing the less used and even unknown "OK Google" hotword.

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Google Pi Intercom: How to build your own Google Home

Google Pi Intercom: How to build your own Google Home

Who said going retro is only for games? Vinyl is back in fashion so why couldn’t other electronics be as well? That is probably the thought going through the mind of MisterM over at instructables when he started this “Google Pi Intercom” project. The name might be a bit misleading, because it is essential a makeshift Google Home that is activated by pressing a button. It’s not a two-way communication device, unless you consider talking to Google Assistant two-way communication.

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Google Home can’t get Arizona’s time zone right: fix is inbound

Google Home can’t get Arizona’s time zone right: fix is inbound

If you have a Google Home device and you happen to live in Arizona, you may have noticed a weird issue when asking for the time. It seems that while Google Assistant is giving these users the correct time, they're getting it for the wrong time zone. Users report being given the correct time for the East Coast despite being in Arizona; users from other states haven't reported the same problem. Unfortunately, there's no fix at the moment.

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Google Home, Assistant can now say “Bonjour” in Canada

Google Home, Assistant can now say “Bonjour” in Canada

It might surprise some people but almost a quarter of Canada call French their second tongue. That makes it a bit tricky to roll out products in this major market that have to straddle not only English but also French, specifically French Canadian. Google, however, as sufficiently overcome that hurdle and, starting today, users in the French-speaking quarters of the country can comfortably talk with Google Home in French. Oh, and they can buy the smart speaker too.

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Install Google Assistant on Android Lollipop without root

Install Google Assistant on Android Lollipop without root

One of Android’s biggest problems, next to security exploits, is its fragmentation. Never mind the dizzying array of Android versions available in the market, fragmentation means that not all devices, even relatively recent ones, will sport the same features. Take for example Google’s new favorite pet Google Assistant, which is only available for Android 6.0 Marshmallow onward. Android 5.0, a.k.a. Lollipop, still commands a third of the market but remains Assistant-less. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to actually get Google Assistant on your Lollipop device, provided you’re willing to make some concessions. And you don’t even need to root your phone to do it.

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