Thursday, January 14

Google Assistant

Google Assistant, Guest Mode, News, Smart Home

Google fully implements guest mode on all Nest home devices

Google's privacy-focused 'guest mode' is finally available for all of your Assistant-enabled devices. This function is a simplified version of the wizard without custom results. That means you can ask him questions, but he won't know who you are. So you can still set timers and ask about the weather, but you can't get a calendar or commute data. Google says that you can just say, "Ok Google, turn on guest mode," and your interactions with the Google Assistant will not be saved to your account. While in guest mode, you can enjoy popular features such as asking questions, controlling smart home devices, setting timers, and playing music. Your device will not show personal results, such as your calendar entries or contacts, until ...
Automotive, Google, Google Assistant, google assistant driving mode, News

Google is getting closer to launching its Android Auto replacement

New reports have surfaced this week that Google is still beta testing the new Wizard-based 'Driving Mode' complete with pictures, and it doesn't seem like much so far. When Google first showed off the assistant driving mode in spring 2019, it was a flawless replacement for the phone's screen version of Android Auto. Now the feature is rolling out to a 'Preview' in the US, giving us a clearer view of the software. For example, this preview isn't even part of the Google Assistant app and is instead buried within Google Maps. That being said, it still seems to offer many of the same features as before. MobileSyrup you can't test the feature because it's only rolling out to people in the US, but 9to5Google It says it works much like ...
Google, Google Assistant, News, Smart Home

The Google Assistant glitch seems to be affecting some users around the world

Numerous reports suggest that a small number of users have not been able to access the Google Assistant on any of their devices in the past week. 9to5Google reports that the flaw appears to be occurring at the Google account level and that smart displays seem to be the most affected. Reports from Google, Twitter, and Reddit Help Forum posts reveal that dozens of users around the world are experiencing these issues. A Google "Product Expert" replied to a thread on the Assistant forum and stated that "the Google support team is aware of this issue." Users receive the message "Cannot contact Google at this time" when they start the Assistant on their phones. Unfortunately, uninstalling and reinstalling the updates doesn't seem to fi...
Apps & Games, Google, Google Assistant, News

Google tests wizard routines that can be activated with sunrises and sunsets

Google is testing Assistant Routines that can be activated at dusk or dawn, and some users already have access to the feature. 9to5Google reports that there is a new way to "start your routine" and that there is a new "sunrise / sunset" option alongside the current "voice command" option when you create a custom "time". From there, users can choose whether the routine starts at the precise event or sometime before or after. Then you can specify which days it should repeat. Until now, users had to manually set a general time and post changes throughout the year. With this new feature, users can automatically adjust their routines to the sun. This feature can be useful for things like turning your smart home lights on or off. It i...
Apps & Games, bug, Google Assistant, News, Pixel

The bug reverts the Google Assistant interface to a previous version by some pixels

When Google Pixel 4 was released, Google also introduced a new Google Assistant interface with a more compact, semi-transparent user interface with a multi-colored bar indicating that the Assistant was listening. However, a bug seems to have reversed that new UI for many Pixel users. Discovered by 9to5Google, the error seems to change the Assistant UI on some Pixel 4, 4a, 4a 5G and 5 devices. When you activate the Assistant, either by swiping up from the corner of the screen or via the "Hello Google" message. You will see an older Wizard user interface. The older user interface features an opaque card with rounded corners and has the Assistant icon in the upper left corner with a speech bubble and text that says, "Hi, how can I he...
Apps & Games, Google, Google Assistant, News

Google Adds New Smart Home Scheduling Options

The latest update to the Google Assistant adds more natural voice controls for smart home devices. This means you can program smart lights, smart plugs, and more to turn on or off at specific times. Not only can you schedule the lights to turn on at a specific time, you can also set the lights to turn off after a certain time. For example, if you have to get into a room quickly, you can say "Ok Google, turn on the lights in the living room for two minutes." Alternatively, you can also say things like "Ok Google, turn on the living room lights in three minutes." On top of that, you can also say, "Ok Google, set the bedroom lights to come on at 8 AM tomorrow." Google says you can program events up to a week in advance. However, yo...
Google, Google Assistant, News, Samsung, Smart Home, Smart TV

Google Assistant comes to Samsung smart TVs

Samsung is bringing the Google Assistant to some of its smart TVs that are already compatible with Alexa and Bixby. This means that you can view images from your Google Photos, search Google, and more from your Samsung TV. You can also control smart devices like smart lights and plugs from your TV with voice controls. Unfortunately, the Google Assistant will only be coming to the company's 2020 4K and 8K TVs. Samsung says that TVs that support the functionality you will get Google Assistant integration without an update. The feature is now rolling out in the UK, France and Italy, but Samsung says it will hit 12 more countries by the end of the year. Source: Samsung
Google, Google Assistant, News, Smart Home

Google adds familiar features to the Google Assistant

Google is rolling out a series of family-oriented updates to the Google Assistant smart speakers and displays. While many of these updates are not features that you would use, I do appreciate that Google is striving to add more features to its smart speakers and displays. The displays especially receive a number of updates that add quite robust functionality to the already excellent smart display platform. Family notes One of the most interesting updates is called 'Family Notes' and it allows people to pin a collection of notes on the home screen of a Google Smart screen so that all members of their family can see them. You can activate this feature by saying phrases like "Hey Google, leave a family note that says thaw the cake" or...
Fitbit, Google Assistant, News, sense, Versa 3, Wearables & Gadgets

Fitbit OS 5.1 update brings Google Assistant and more to Sense, Versa 3

Fitbit has announced that a new update is rolling out for its newest Sense and Versa 3 smartwatches with some exciting new features, including the long-awaited Google Assistant support. When Fitbit launched Sense and Versa 3 earlier this year, it said that both devices would work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. However, it was promised that the Assistant's support would come later. With the release of Fitbit OS 5.1, Assistant will be available to users in the US Unfortunately for Canadians, Assistant support will arrive in the coming months. Once the Assistant is activated, users can switch from Alexa to Assistant by going to the 'Account' section of the Fitbit smartphone app, selecting their smartwatch, and then tapping ...
alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, How-to's, Nanoleaf, Resources

Here’s how to connect the Nanoleaf lights to your Google Assistant, Alexa, or Homekit

So you just got some of Nanoleaf's sleek new smart light panels to decorate a room in your house and want to connect them with your smart home setup? No problem, here we have the summary of how to do it. The Toronto-based company launched two new 'Shapes' based lighting options, the new Shapes Triangles and Mini Triangles. But whether you're moving them around, the Shapes Hexagons (which are interoperable with the other Shapes options), or the old Canvas or Light Panels, the integration process with your smart home should look the same. First, you will need to download the Nanoleaf app and follow the steps to set up and connect your lights to the app. Without that step, the rest will not work. Once done, you can integrate Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Homekit to control the...
Apps & Games, Google Assistant, News, Podcasts, spotify

How to listen to podcasts through Spotify on a Google smart speaker

Google is finally allowing other podcasting services to be used as the default platform on its smart speakers. To do this, you must first enter the Google Assistant settings page. This can be done through the Assistant app, the Home app, and other popular Google services. Once you're inside, navigate to the 'Podcasts' subtitle and then select Spotify as your default option. In the future, you should be able to use other services, but the developers will be the ones to support this feature. Once you've set up a default podcast provider, you'll be able to ask Google to play your podcasts, and it should pick up where you left off the last time you were listening. You can also ask the digital assistant to play specific podcasts. Sou...
Google, Google Assistant, News

Google Assistant’s driving mode may finally be implemented

After announcing the Google Assistant driving mode in 2019, it looks like the tech giant is finally rolling it out over a year later. XDA Developers You have found that the Google Assistant driving mode is partially enabled for some Android users. Although it is not the exact interface that Google showed in 2019, the concept remains the same. The interface still features large buttons and text that allow you to message, chat, and play music while keeping distractions while driving limited. It looks like the implementation could be part of a server-side test and is not attached to any specific version of Google Maps or search apps. This redesign suggests that Google may not have been completely satisfied with the Assistant drivi...