Google has rolled out some new features for Google Home devices and Lenovo Smart Displays, some of which were announced back during I/O 2018. The new features include Pretty Please, Assistant notes and lists integration, Broadcast Replies, and visual lyrics for the Home Hub. Pretty Please is designed to help encourage good manners, which is a big deal for parents with kids.
The way Pretty Please works is by encouraging you to say “please” and “thank you” in your commands. When Google Assistant hears commands with good manners, it will say “delightful responses” and “Thanks for asking so nicely.” Since Google Assistant is a faceless bit of tech, using good manners when talking with it is easy to forget, and the fear is that forgetting good manners when talking to Google Assistant might lead to forgetting good manners when talking to others. Pretty Please is supported via Voice Match on Smart Displays and speakers.
Google has also rolled out some updates to Home Hub and Lenovo Smart Display that adds Touch Alarms to the Quick Settings menu. The update also makes sharing pictures with contacts via Google Photos easier, using the voice command “Hey Google, share this photo.” Other items in the updates include Nest Hello integration allowing you to use the display to talk with people at your door by pressing a “Talk” button that is now integrated.
If you have photos that you don’t want to be displayed on the Ambient Display, you can now hide them. Smart Displays can also be used to view lyrics that display in sync with the music being played on select songs. With Christmas coming up soon Google Home has received a new “Call Santa” button that will offer Christmas music for little ones to enjoy this season.
Broadcast Replies is going to start its rollout this week allowing for two-way communication between the Smart Display or speaker and your phone or Home device. When users receive one of these messages on a phone replies can be sent using the keyboard with transcripts of the conversation available for later review. A Reply button was also added to Broadcasts on Smart Displays; Google Home Hub was added to the Lenovo Smart Display in late October.