Items tagged with google assistant

Voice assistants can be great for looking up the weather, playing music, and answering inquiries. However, consumers should use caution before asking their voice assistant to call a business or customer service line. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently reported that voice assistants are accidentally dialing scammer phone numbers. According to the BBB, several consumers have recently used voice search to dial the numbers of customer service lines, but were taken instead to scammers. For example, one consumer asked their voice assistant to dial an airline’s customer service phone number. The scammer attempted to convince the consumer to purchase $400 in prepaid gift cards. Why are consumers... Read more...
Not all feature updates have to be groundbreaking or big in scope. I'm reminded of this today with Google announcing a nifty new capability coming to Google Assistant. In short order, Google Assistant users will be able to assign reminders to family members and friends. There are several ways this could come in handy. "Assignable reminders on the Google Assistant help families and housemates better collaborate and stay organized while at home or on the go. This means you can now create reminders for your partner or roommate to do things like pick up the groceries, pay a recurring bill, walk the dog—or send them a note of encouragement when they need it the most ('Hey Google, remind Mary... Read more...
One of the first things you learn in driving class is to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. That is easier said then done these days, with increasingly functional mapping apps and digital displays getting in the way. To help with that, Google Assistant is heading to the Waze navigation app, Google announced on Monday. Google acquired Waze back in 2013 for $1.3 billion, and it continues to operate independently of Google Maps. Over the years, however, Google has ported several of Waze's features over to its own home-brewed maps app. On occasion, some of the features in Google Maps have also found their way over to Waze. The latter is the case here, at least technically—Google... Read more...
Humans have been dreaming up machines that take care of everyday household tasks since the Industrial Revolution. Smart home devices of various types have existed for several decades, but have become increasingly popular over the last few years as they have become more powerful, intelligent, and connected. Many consumers are now able to do everything from preheating their ovens to checking up on their home security cameras, with a simple tap on their smart device. Lenovo started to inch its way into the smart home market last year. The Lenovo Smart Display with Google Assistant was released in 2018. It was one of the first Google Assistant-enabled display devices to hit the market. The device... Read more...
Are you craving Chinese take-out? Hungering for a hamburger? You no longer need a slew of third party apps to get some apps to your door. Users will now be able to easily order food from Google Assistant, Maps, and Search. Participating restaurants will have an “Order Online” button, if a user searches for them through Google Maps or Google Search. The customer will then be able to choose menu items, select delivery or pick-up, and make a payment with Google Pay. Users can also order food through Google Assistant on iOS or Android devices. You will simply need to say “Hey Google, order food from (insert restaurant.)" Google will also be able to get to know your restaurant and... Read more...
Google has been making greats strides to bring its Duplex reservation service to more states. For those not in the know, Google Duplexuses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically make reservations for you (i.e. dinner for two at a restaurant). You tell the Google Assistant where you want to eat, what day/time, and how many people will be attending; Duplex then places the call for you -- using an incredibly human-like voice -- and books the reservation. Google Duplex demo from Google I/O 2018 A new report from the New York Times has indicated that humans actually need to intervene in quite a few cases for current Duplex reservations. In fact, as many as 25 percent... Read more...
Google is making some changes in its smart home product lineup to help erase some of the confusion between Google and Nest-branded device. Going forward, its smart home products will fall under the Nest brand name, starting with the Nest Hub Max. The Nest Hub Max is a larger extension of the 7-inch Google Home Hub that launched last year. It comes with a larger 10-inch touch display (1280x800) and of course is built around the Google Assistant and serves as a smart speaker (there are two 10W tweeters up front and 30W subwoofer out back). The device can easily connect with your other connected devices like the Nest Hello video doorbell, or your Nest Cam Outdoor camera (for example). You can query... Read more...
If you’d like your Google Assistant to have a silky smooth, soulful voice responding to your every command, your day has some. Google has announced that its first celebrity voice is now available, and it comes from none other than Grammy-winning singer John Legend. The new celebrity voice is only available on a limited time basis, and can be invoked by saying “Hey Google, talk like a Legend.” Although most complex requests will still be handled by the standard Google Assistant voice, you’ll hear Legend’s voice when you ask for the temperature or when asking random questions like “Why is the sky blue” or “Tell me a joke.” You can also ask AI... Read more...
If you have a Google Assistant-backed Smart Display, but have been envious of the Continued Conversation feature available to standalone Google Home speakers, your moment in the sun has arrived. Google announced today that the handy feature is rolling out today to the Google Home Hub and other devices like the Lenovo Smart Display. For those not in the know, Continued Conversation mode allows you to make an initial request, then keep hitting your AI assistant with follow-up questions without repeatedly having to say “OK, Google” for a set period of time. This not only allows for a more conversational and less robotic interactions with a device like the Google Home... Read more...
Google initially shocked and amazed us all with its dazzling Google Duplex AI at last year's I/O conference. The demos highlighting surprisingly life-like interactions between a "synthetic" caller and human reservation taker on the other end of the line for booking things like a hair appointment or dinner date. After first bringing Duplex to Pixel phones last year in a few major cities across the United States (New York, San Francisco, etc.), Google is now ready for a broader rollout across much of the country. It announced that Duplex is now available for all Pixel owners in 43 states. You can see the full list of supported states by clicking the following link. But that's not... Read more...
Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home are growing rapidly in popularity -- especially in the United States -- as more people are using them for everyday inquiries ranging from turning on/off lights, starting complicated smart routines, to getting traffic and weather updates, to playing back some upbeat tunes while you're cooking dinner. But while these devices are incredibly handy when it comes to answering questions or performing tasks, many people are concerned about the privacy risk that they present. In order to give consumers better privacy protections, California Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) has introduced a bill entitled "The Future of Eavesdropping... Read more...
Nest has announced that the Nest Secure home security device has been updated and will now work as a Google Assistant device. That means as users are on their way out the door, they can ask Google Assistant on the Secure device questions just as they would any Google Assitant device with the "Hey, Google" activation phrase. Google lists a number of ways that users could get help from Google Assistant integrated inside the Nest Secure device. Google says that you can ask for traffic information, flight status, or weather forecasts. Google Assistant capability lets you start a Routine to do anything you could do with a standard Google Assistant device. That means when you walk in you could say,... Read more...
Kenny Rogers famously sang about knowing when to hold your cards and knowing when to fold 'em (and run). Microsoft appears to be taking that lesson to heart in the digital assistant space, and rather than try to usurp Amazon's popular Alexa with its current set of cards, it has decided to play a different hand—going forward, Microsoft will focus on making Cortana available as a skill. Work on this has already begun. Cortana has been available as a skill since last year, and at Microsoft's Build 2018 conference, Microsoft demonstrated how Alexa and Cortana could work together in Windows 10 as part of a previously announced collaboration between Amazon and Microsoft. So, it's not really a... Read more...
We’ll see your 100 million assistant devices and raise you 1 billion. Google announced that it expects to sell one billion Google Assistant devices by the end of the month. The company's boast is in response to Amazon’s announcement that they had sold 100 million Alexa devices. Amazon SVP of devices and services, Dave Limp, recently remarked that 100 million Alexa devices have been sold since Alexa’s release in 2014. This number includes both Amazon devices and other products that ship with built-in Alexa. Not to be outdone by Amazon, Google reported that they have sold 10X the number of Google Assistant devices since 2016. That estimate includes both Google products and... Read more...
There is a war raging right now in the voice assistant realm with Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft fighting to have the smartest and most popular voice assistants. A recent study named Google Assistant the most intelligent of the current crop of voice assistants, and they often show up in many places including TVs, PCs, smart watches, and speakers. It's rare for manufacturers of these devices to give up hard numbers on how many devices have sold, but Amazon has stepped up and done just that for Alexa devices. Amazon SVP of devices and services, Dave Limp, has said that over 100 million devices with Alexa on board have been sold. That all-inclusive number certainly sheds no light on sales... Read more...
Loup Ventures has published the results of its Annual Smart Speaker IQ test where it took the four major Smart Speakers on the market that are packed with Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana and put them through a round of tests. The test asked each of the four smart speakers 800 questions to see which of the devices was able to answer the most questions and then ranked the devices based on the percentage of understood queries, and the number of questions answered correctly. The results put Google Assistant at the top of the class. Google Assistant understood 100% of the aksed queries and was able to answer 87.9% of the questions correctly. Siri came in second place understanding 99.6%... Read more...
Christmas movie fans will undoubtedly know the classic flick Home Alone starring Macaulay Culkin. Google has teamed up with Culkin to reprise his role as Kevin McAllister in modern times. Google calls the new holiday film it cooked up "Home Alone Again with Google Assistant." The video has Kevin doing many of the same things he did 28 years ago when his parents forgot him at home and went away on a trip. The catch this time is that Kevin has a Google Home packing the Google Assistant to help him spend his days alone. Kevin has the assistant make him a shopping list for the aftershave that gave the flick its iconic hands on cheeks screaming kid poster. Kevin also has a custom routine to keep the... Read more...
Whether you primarily use Siri or Google Assistant (assuming you use a digital assistant) likely comes down to which platform you're invested in—Android or iOS. It doesn't have to be one or the other, though. Google recently updated its Assistant app for iOS to support Siri Shorcuts, which allows users to call up Google's virtual assistant without having to fire up the app. Once the app is updated, the best way to take advantage of the feature is to record a familiar phrase like "OK Google" or "Hey Google." After you do that, you can tap into Google Assistant without having to open up the app. It's sort of an end-around solution, though. It's not quite the same as on Android handsets, in... Read more...
The Lenovo Smart Display (read the HotHardware review here) may have been one of the first true Google Assistant-based devices with a large touch display attached, but the new kid on the block is the Google Home Hub. Google's 7-inch device has garnered quite a bit of attention over the past few weeks for its sleek Home View, full integration with the Nest Hello Doorbell (among other perks) and its relatively low price. Today, we're learning that Lenovo is bringing some of that same Google Home Hub functionality to its own Smart Displays. New features that are being added to the 8- and 10-inch Lenovo Smart Displays include multi-room audio, which allows you to blast music... Read more...
NVIDIA's "do everything" SHIELD TV is an incredibly potent media streamer + gaming platform, and it already features native support for the Google Assistant. However, the current implementation of voice control with the Google Assistant leaves a lot to be desired and is quite limited in its capabilities. NVIDIA is rectifying this issue with a new update that provides "deeper integration" with Google Home devices currently on your network. You can simply call out to your Google Home and tell it to specifically play a movie or a TV show on your SHIELD. For example, you can say "OK Google, open Sling TV on SHIELD" or "Hey Google, set volume to 90% on SHIELD". As you might expect, you can... Read more...
The Google Home Hub was just announced last week as Google's answer to the rise in display-equipped digital assistants like the Lenovo Smart Hub. The device has a 7-inch screen, runs on the Google Cast platform, and does everything you would expect from a device that supports the Google Assistant. And priced at $149, the Google Home Hub greatly undercuts the cost of the Amazon Echo Show. Well, Home Depot is selling for the Google Home Hub right now for an amazingly low price of $99. We don't know if this is a price mistake, or just some early bird special that the retailer is running at the moment, but 33 percent off an unreleased product sounds like a smokin' hot deal to us. You... Read more...
We’ve been hearing talks about a Google-branded, display-equipped smart home device powered by the Google Assistant for several months. The rumors really started heating up once companies like Lenovo released its own Smart Display Google Assistant-based device (read the HotHardware review here). Now, we’re getting a look at what are allegedly the first images of Google’s upcoming product courtesy of MySmartPrice. The device is called the Google Home Hub and features a 7-inch touch screen. As far as appearances are concerned, it looks a Google Home Max with a display attached to the front. According to a leaked product page, the device will be available... Read more...
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