Google Assistant learning new tricks, including alarm-based routines

Donna Miller
November 15, 2018

Until now, broadcast has been a one-way affair: you can use your Assistant device to send a message to all of the other devices in your network, and have that read out loud.

Google is also taking advantage of devices that pair Google Assistant with visual content to offer customers recommended recipes. Now, the recipients of those messages can reply from a smart display or smart speaker, delivering a message back to your phone.

For instance, when your alarm goes off and you dismiss it, you can have Assistant automatically start your smart coffee maker, tell you about your day, and how long it will take to get to work.

Google Assistant routines will be accessible right from the Google Clock app, so you can easily tell Assistant what to do in the morning.

If you didn't know, routines are a way for the Google Assistant to automate tasks you would normally have to do manually, in sequence.

From there, users can select different skills to customize their routine with, like instructing Google Assistant to them about the weather, their commute, morning meetings and other reminders.

It can also adjust smart plugs, lights, thermostats and other household appliances.

Google unveiled a handful of new tricks and tips for Google Assistant, including Google Clock integrations and better media controls on smart displays.

As for Routines, it's now possible to add the custom macros to an alarm.

Google on Wednesday announced a series of updates to Google Assistant, including an improvement to broadcast, one of the AI-powered assistant's most popular features.

First rolled out a year ago, the feature lets you send messages using the Google Assistant app or another Google Home speaker in a separate location.

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It's particularly useful for parents who want to make house-wide announcements, such as letting their kids know when dinner is ready.

Now, though, Google is adding broadcast replies.

If the message comes through a phone, Google automatically transcribes the message so you can read it instead of trying to listen to it while you're out and about.

Then there are the new kids features.

In October, Google launched a new Call Screen feature that uses Google Assistant to block spam calls.

At the opposite end of the day, the Assistant can now put phones into Do Not Disturb mode.

It can book a hair appointment and reserve a table for you at your favorite restaurant, among other things.

Pichai showed off the new technology at the I/O conference, which kicked off on Tuesday in Mountain View, California and runs through Thursday.

Additionally, users can set up alarms from popular animated characters with Google Assistant on smart speakers.

It sounds like any other women talking, but one half of the conversation is being held by Google's AI-infused digital assistant.

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