Google Assistant for Smart Displays just got a huge upgrade with new voices and education features

Nest Hub Max Hero Jj
Nest Hub Max Hero Jj (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google announced new changes coming to Assistant on Smart Displays at its Assistant Developer event.
  • It'll be adding new voices, allowing for a more natural-sounding Assistant.
  • The company will also be investing hard in education, debuting new actions for learning and storytelling.

New changes are coming to Assistant on your Smart Display, Google announced today. Some of these are small quality of life changes, others will open up new ways of using these Smart Displays.

First, Google is testing new voices for Assistant that will give it a more natural-sounding tone. It will also make it easier to pay for products on Smart Displays. As reported earlier this year, Google had brought Voice Match credit card authentication to the Smart Displays, in the future, it plans to enable on display CVC entry. This means you'll be given the option to enter your card's security pin directly on your smart display if you so choose.

Google will also now allow developers to register certain actions as either education or storytelling actions through new built-in intents. The company says that it'll be moving up these actions as primary areas of investment alongside games, signifying its own intent towards pushing Smart Displays as learning tools.The company's interactive canvas, the tool that helps developers create experiences for the Nest Hub, is also being expanded to cover educational use cases. Google highlights scenarios like teaching someone to cook or explaining to them grammar rules.

Google's Baris Gultekin, Director of Product Management, explained:

People will then be able to say "Hey Google, teach me something new" and they will be presented with a Learning Hub where they can browse different education experiences. For stories, users can simply say "Hey Google, tell me a story".

Google Learning Hub

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

These are nice little changes that'll make your Smart Display a better tool for learning. It's already improving for work and play with updates bringing Zoom and Netflix support. As with all developer-facing changes, you don't have to do anything to engage these changes. It's a tool for developers to build their own experiences. With that said, you can expect household names like Duolingo to be on something like the Learning Hub sooner rather than later.

Nest Hub Max

Google Nest Hub Max

For work or play, you can go big or go home. The Nest Hub Max comes with a great speaker, a roomy display, and quick gestures that make Netflixing in the kitchen less messy than it should be.

Michael Allison