Google Home & Assistant is getting you ready for the holidays with a host of new features. Google made the announcement today in an official blog post and, I must say, that these are welcomed features. Here’s a list of some of the changes. You can also head over to Google’s blog for more details:
- Broadcast messages can now be replied to. If you send a broadcast message from your phone, a person at home can reply to it and you’ll receive a voice or transcribed message back. This should be great when you are at the grocery store.
- A new Recommended Recipes tab has been added to the Smart Displays with step-by-step instructions. It’ll eventually get smarter and recommend recipes based on time of day. Additionally, as you find recipes you like, you’ll soon be able to save to your own personal cookbook.
- Google added a bunch of kids stuff:
- New alarms with LEGO and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters
- Added “Ara the Star Engineer” to their new Read Along feature
- Will add 25 new stories that Google can play for you from the likes of Paw Patrol, Dora the Explorer, and Blaze and the Monster Machines
- A new The Wiggles choose-your-own-adventure game has been added
- New commands for “Hey Google, I lost my tooth” and “Hey Google, check for monsters” were added
- When listening to audiobooks or podcasts, Google Assistant can adjust playback speed with a command like, “Hey Google, play at twice the speed”
- Trivia game “Are You Feeling Lucky?” has been added for group play sessions
- Routines picked up a really cool feature that works off of your Google Clock and alarms (see below). You can have it set to kickstart an Assistant Routine once you dismiss an alarm, which could mean setting the temperature in your house, turning on a coffee maker, and telling you about the weather
The new features should roll out to all Google Home devices during the coming weeks just in time for the holidays.