New features are rolling out to the Google Assistant, most of which are family-focused and built around smart displays.
The first of the new features is Family Notes. Users will be able to add a sticky note (reminders or to-dos) to the main screen for everyone to see. Think of it as a reminder widget.
Google has also added new chimes and sound effects for the Family Bell feature that was announced back in August. The feature allows for the broadcast of special alarms such as bedtime, breakfast time, and movie time on different smart home devices. Along with the chime, the smart speaker or display will also say what the alarm is for. Family Bell can also be customized for a specific device. It has been reported by The Verge that the feature will have the ability to pause all bells for the day.
Another interesting feature that has been added to Google Assistant is the ability to ask where family members are. All you have to say is “Hey Google, where is my family?” or “Hey Google, where’s mom/dad (specific family member name)?” and the assistant will display the last known location of all members or a specific person on Google Maps. To use this feature, you need to have a Google family account and be aged over 13. Location sharing also has to have been turned on in Maps.
Other features that Google has added include new educational features such as interactive stories – users can say “Hey Google, tell me a story” and an interactive story will appear on the smart display. Google says you can also say “Hey Google, what can I learn with my family?” and family activities that can be completed by kids will show up.
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