The holidays are coming fast, and Google is gifting us some new Google Assistant features.
A new feature called Pretty Please will help to encourage polite behavior. If you include the words “please” or “thank you” with your command to Google Assistant, you’ll get a special response. For example, saying something like “Hey Google, please set a timer for five minutes,” the Assistant will respond with, “Thanks for asking so nicely. Alright, five minutes. Starting now.”
Google Assistant can now help you keep track of your notes and lists using your voice. Just ask Google to do something like “Create a gift list” or “Show me my last note” and it’ll manage your lists and notes for you. Google is also adding support for Google Keep, Any.do and Bring!, and Todoist.
Google Assistant is also learning more stories to tell. Disney’s “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” Little Golden Book is now available just by saying, “Hey Google, let’s read along with Mickey’s Christmas Carol”. Google is adding more books from Disney in the coming weeks, like “Frozen”, “Aladdin”, “Mulan”, and “The Lion King”.
You can also get Google Assistant to help you contact Santa. Just say “Hey Google, call Santa” and you can help Santa Claus figure out the best way to play a song that he’s rehearsing for a musical concert.
Rounding out the new Google Assistant features are a handful of updates for smart displays. You can use your smart display to speak with a guest at your door using the Nest Hello and the new two-way talkback feature, and your smart display can also show synchronized lyrics for select songs from Google Play Music. Just say something like, “Hey Google, play ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ on Google Play Music” and you’ll see the words on your screen.
Starting next week, smart display and smart speakers can reply to broadcast messages sent using Google Assistant, and you can also quickly set an alarm on your smart display by swiping up from the home screen and tapping the new timer button. Finally, when smart display users see a photo that they’d like to share, they can quickly do so by saying “Hey Google, share this photo with _____”.