For the past year, Google has been pumping out lightweight versions of its most popular apps designed specifically for low-cost smartphones. Under the Android Go banner, we've already seen YouTube Go, Google Maps Go, and even a brand new service called Files Go meant to clear up storage space on your device. Now Google is rolling out its latest lightweight app: Assistant Go.
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I love starting every morning with a daily briefing from my Google Home speaker (just say "Hey, Google good morning" and you'll get the weather, news and any events on your calendar), but using it as an alarm clock is another story. That's because Google's never made it easy to wake up to music instead of a wailing siren - until now.
This February Google finally brought the Google Assistant from the Pixel and Google Home to other Android devices, but they were newer products such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 and HTC 10. Older phone owners were stuck with upgrading or going Assistant-less. That changes now. The company announced on Wednesday that Google Assistant is now coming to some older devices.
Smart devices are becoming more and more ubiquitous. Whether you're the owner of a smart lightbulb, smart outlet, security camera, or all of the above, managing your devices can get tricky, especially if you're amassing a collection.
If you're using a Google voice assistant, though, they're making it easy to add new smart toys to your existing home setup: one simple command that can get your voice assistant up to speed and keep your connected devices aware of one another. All you have to do is say: "Hey Google, sync my devices."
Google Home, the search giant's answer to Amazon's Echo speaker, launched with at least one glaring omission: The ability to access and manage multiple calendars. That's particularly surprising considering that so may people use Google's own Calendar app to organise their lives, but, thankfully, the company now seems to be rolling out an overdue update.
Your Google Pixel 2 has a pretty capable built-in butler in the form of Google Assistant. Not everyone with an Android phone, however, is all-in on Google's ecosystem. In fact, some users might be - wait for it - Microsoft users. And that means Cortana is their go-to virtual assistant. Thanks to Microsoft, you can ditch Google's voice assistant and swap it out with one that's more up your alley.
One of the Pixel 2's most interesting features is Active Edge, which lets you launch Google Assistant by simply squeezing your smartphone. Unfortunately, Google made the annoying decision to lock this function to its AI assistant, but one developer has already found a way to get around the company's restrictions.
You know that thing you do where you ask your partner/friend/family member to remind you to do something later? Yeah, well now Google Home can actually do that, and unlike that person you always ask, it won't forget. Last month, Google Home rolled out an update that finally enabled voice-activated reminders for the digital assistant.
For six glorious months a few years ago C-3PO was the voice of Waze on my phone. That December I drove from California to North Carolina, and having my favourite droid give me directions made the whole experience a lot more pleasant. I love it when you can change the voice of digital assistants you deal with daily. Sure, it isn't adding any functionality, but it can be fun to change things up every now and then. And now you can change the voice of Google Assistant on your Android phone or Google Home setup.
A little over an hour into Google's Pixel 2 event yesterday, Senior Director of Product Management Sabrina Ellis did something unusual: She squeezed the new smartphone. Then, without tapping a single button, she said the words "take a selfie," held the phone up in the air, and snapped a group shot with the packed conference room.
Google Home brings most of Google's awesome voice commands to your living room, but it also has a couple of tricks of its own. For example, you can use it to play musical notes so you can get in tune.
Ever get epic ideas while you're in the car? If so, you've probably struggled to figure out how to jot down those ideas without swerving into oncoming traffic. It can be a distraction for sure, but one Redditor has a useful suggestion that involves one of our favourite tools: IFTTT.
Android: Most custom ROMs don't come with Google apps pre-installed for legal reasons. Open GApps helps you install them on a new ROM, and now it can also turn on Google Assistant for you.