The search giant has long given users the ability to set ‘routines,’ or multiple tasks that are triggered by a single command, using its digital assistant.
For example, when users say ‘Hey Google, good morning,’ it will turn your lights on, brew your coffee and read you the news.
Now, a new addition to Google Assistant makes it so that routines are triggered after you hit snooze on your alarm.
WHAT IS GOOGLE ASSISTANT?
Google Assistant is the firm’s AI-powered digital assistant that responds to voice or text commands.
The company first launched it in Google apps and Pixel phones in 2016, then later expanded to Android devices, smart appliances and the Google Home Hub, its first smart display.
It can tell users the weather, show them what’s on their calendar, answer questions on a variety of topics and turn on smart home devices, among other things.
For now, users can only take advantage of this feature if they own an Android phone.
It can be accessed by going to the Clock app on Android devices.
When users go to set an alarm, there’s an option for ‘Google Assistant Routine.’
From there, users can select different skills to customize their routine with, like instructing Google Assistant to them about the weather, their commute, morning meetings and other reminders.
It can also adjust smart plugs, lights, thermostats and other household appliances.
Then, once it runs through the users tasks or reminders for the day, users can configure it so that Google Assistant tells them the news and plays a podcast or an audiobook.
And that’s not the only new Google Assistant feature.
The firm is also upgrading its broadcasts tool, which lets users send an audio message to other members of their household using a Google Assistant-equipped device, such as the Google Home.
It’s particularly useful for parents who want to make house-wide announcements, such as letting their kids know when dinner is ready.
Now, Google is giving users the ability to broadcast messages when they’re out of the house.
For example, if you’re a parent on your way home from work, you can tell your kids to put the chicken in the oven, or other helpful reminders.
Spoken messages also get sent to users as transcribed messages, giving the user who sent or received the broadcast the option to reply.
It comes as Google has launched several new Assistant features in recent months.
In October, Google launched a new Call Screen feature that uses Google Assistant to block spam calls.
Users activate a feature as the call comes in, and Google will transcribe it live on screen.
HOW IS GOOGLE ASSISTANT GETTING SMARTER?
At the search giant’s annual I/O developer conference, CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled a new technology called ‘Duplex’ that enables its Google Assistant to make phone calls in real-time with actual humans.
It can book a hair appointment and reserve a table for you at your favorite restaurant, among other things.
That’s on top of a slew of other tools that Google says can make it easier than ever for you to interact with your smart devices.
Duplex, which Pichai says the firm has been working on ‘for many years’, will be rolling out to a limited number of users for now.
Pichai showed off the new technology at the I/O conference, which kicked off on Tuesday in Mountain View, California and runs through Thursday.
In a demo, Google Assistant dials up a local hair salon to schedule an appointment.
First, a user asks Google Assistant to make them a hair appointment, which prompts Assistant to make the phone call.
It sounds like any other women talking, but one half of the conversation is being held by Google’s AI-infused digital assistant.
Google Assistant is able to work out a time and date for the appointment, even when the salon employee says there are no appointments available at the time the Assistant originally suggested.
Assistant then sends a notification to the user to let them know that an appointment has been scheduled.