Google announced a number of family-friendly assistant features this week, including an expanded broadcast feature, new doorbell reminders, and new bedtime stories.
Marketed to busy parents ahead of the Sunday Mother’s Day celebrations, the changes begin with an expanded version of “one of our favorite assistant functions,” said Lilian Rincon, senior director of product management.
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Instead of going from room to room to gather everyone together for dinner (or just shouting up the stairs in my household), broadcast makes it easier for smart speakers to communicate in the home. But what if you’re at the grocery store or coming home late from work?
With New Family Broadcast, users can reach people anywhere (even outside of a home Wi-Fi network) and reply from any device, including an assistant-supported device Smartphone.
“When I get home from my Sunday morning run, I can send to my newly created Google family group, ‘Hey Google, tell my family how about lunch for lunch?’ across all of our smart speakers and displays, “Rincon wrote a blog announcement. “The news will even reach my husband on his own iPhone (or Android device) while he’s on his way home, have him reply by voice or tap the reply button: “Hey Google, the answer sounds good when he stops by Grandma’s.” I’ll see you in 15 minutes. ‘”
Keep everyone on schedule with Family Bell reminders: Scheduled announcements played on speakers and smart displays. Introduced in August, the audio function rings throughout the day to announce, for example, when it’s time to get up and stretch, have lunch, water the plants or even go to bed.
Google launched two new reminders this week, added the option to have family bells ring at the same time on multiple home devices, and beefed up the upcoming ability to say “stop” to end the bell. You don’t have to use Hey Google again, just like alarms and timers. The feature is initially available in English and will soon be expanded to include Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish.
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At the end of the day you can tell a good story – from the wizarding world of Pottermore Publishing to “Who Was?” From Penguin Random House. Series. Thanks to Google’s new partnerships, you can learn more about the popular sport of broom flying (“Hey Google, tell me a Quidditch story”) or famous faces like Ida B. Wells, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Michael Jordan and Jane meet Goodall (“Hey Google, talk to Who Was Heroes”).
For a full list of the available stories, see “Hey Google, tell me a story.” With parental or guardian permission, children under the age of 13 can create a personalized Google Assistant experience with access games for children and families.
“We also had to add a couple of Easter eggs,” added Rincon. “Try using a timer on Mother’s Day and see what happens.” Google also created new songs so kids can stay at work and get their chores done. Try “Hey Google, since the clean up song,” “Hey Google, sing the go-to-sleep song,” or “Hey Google, sing the brush-your-teeth song”.