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Google Assistant picks up a few new tricks

Google Assistant, the voice-driven AI that sits inside Google Home (plus Android telephones, newer Nest cameras, and a bunch of different gadgets) and awaits your “Hey, Google” instructions, is already fairly intelligent. That doesn’t imply it might’t be taught a couple of new tips.

In a fast press briefing this week, Google informed us a pair new skills Assistant will decide up within the coming weeks.

First, and maybe most apparently: routines can now be set to set off the second you dismiss an alarm in your telephone. Routines are mainly Google Assistant combo strikes; you construct them to set off a number of actions without delay. You can construct a “Hey Google, I’m going to bed.” command, for instance, that turns off your good lights, shuts down the TV, and locks your good locks. For some time now, you’ve been capable of have routines triggered at particular instances; now you possibly can have them triggered by alarm dismissal.

The distinction? If you snooze the alarm in your telephone, the routine received’t go off simply but. So you possibly can construct a routine, for instance, that activates the lights and begins studying the information — however now it might go off once you’re actually getting off the bed, roughly two snooze-buttons after once you in all probability ought to’ve gotten up. You’ll discover this one hiding in Android’s Clock app.

Another characteristic, in the meantime, is getting an improve: broadcasts. If you’ve bought a number of Google Home gadgets round your own home, you possibly can already “broadcast” to all of them to make house-wide bulletins like “Dinners ready!” or “help I need toilet paper downstairs” (THE FUTURE!). Now you possibly can broadcast messages again to your own home whereas out and about by way of Google Assistant in your telephone, and folks inside the house can reply. You can say “Hey Google, broadcast ‘Do we need milk?’” and anybody inside your own home can say “Hey Google, reply ‘no but please get eggnog, come on, please, it’s basically December, you said we could get eggnog in December’.”

Broadcast replies shall be despatched again to your telephone as a voice message and a transcription.

Google can also be beginning to introduce “character alarms” — that are, because the identify implies, alarms voiced by fashionable characters. Right now they’re including the heroes in a half shell from Nickeloden’s Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and a bunch of LEGO animated sequence characters (alas, no LEGO Batman.) They’ll presumably develop this with extra licenses if it proves fashionable.

And in the event you take heed to podcasts or audiobooks in your Google Assistant gadgets, now you can regulate the playback velocity by saying “Hey Google, play at 1.5x” or “1.8x” or no matter you need as much as twice the velocity. “Play faster” or “Play slower” additionally works in the event you’re not feeling particular.

Oh, and for good measure: Google Assistant can now silence all of the telephones in your own home (or, a minimum of, the Android telephones tied to your Google account) with a fast “Hey Google, silence the phones” command.

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