What you need to know
- Google is announcing several new features for Google Assistant.
- Google Duplex will automatically fill out your payment info when ordering online from select restaurants.
- Nest also brings Find My Phone to the iPhone and adds a few updates to Routines.
Google I/O 2021 is just around the corner, and updates to Google Assistant are among the things we can expect from the annual developer conference. Today, Google decided to take the wraps off several new features that it's bringing to Assistant and the best Android phones, including one powered by Google Duplex.
First, Google has announced that it's expanding its Find My Phone feature on Nest devices to now include iPhones. All it requires is for iPhone owners to opt-in to receive alerts from the Google Home app that will help locate their device by giving it a ring.
Google is also announcing the global launch of Sunrise and Sunset Routines. Based on your location, you can set a Routine to activate when the sun rises and sets. And to help you out, we have a handy guide to show you how to set up and manage Google Assistant Routines.
A "suggested actions" list has also been added to Routines, which should make it easier to figure out ways that Routines can help you in the morning or on your commute. And Google is highlighting how you can create home screen shortcuts to gain instant access to your Routines at the press of a button.
One of the more interesting features that Google is introducing is using Duplex to help complete your online food orders. If you don't remember, Duplex was announced back in 2018 as a way to let Google Assistant make calls on your behalf to schedule appointments or reservations. Now, in the days of social distancing and working-from-home, Duplex is adapting. When you search for a restaurant on Google and place an order, Duplex will automatically fill out the payment and contact information, meaning less work for you. Duplex is available on just about any Android device, including the best cheap Android phones. Google has partnered with select restaurant chains to bring this feature and plans to expand later this year.
Lastly, Google is highlighting some Oscar inquiries to Assistant, so you can find out all the information about the upcoming awards ceremony. Just ask "Hey Google, when are the Oscars?" or "Hey Google, who's nominated for Animated Feature Film at the Oscars?" to find out predictions about the 93rd Academy Awards which airs on April 25th.
Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.
Can it announce incoming texts and offer to let me respond to them? No? Then it remains a useless assistant.
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