Google Adds New Features to Assistant on Speakers

Posted on February 1, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Google with 8 Comments

Google Home Max Review: The McMansion of Smart Speakers

As Google gets ready for a big Assistant push in 2018, the company is today rolling out a couple of minor enhancements for the smart assistant on speakers. The company is adding some new features to Assistant on its Home line of smart speakers, as well as other smart speakers powered by Assistant.

The new Assistant features include an improved Alarm feature that now lets you set a song, playlist, or radio station as the alarm ringtone. All you need to do is mention an artist, song, playlist, or radio station when setting an alarm and Assistant will set off the alarm with your preferred track. For example, you can ask Assistant to set an alarm by saying “Hey Google, set an alarm for 7 AM that plays Stir Fry” and it’ll wake you up to Stir Fry by Migos at 7 am. In other news, Google Play Music subscribers are getting a much-needed feature: you can finally play music you have uploaded to your Play Music library on your smart speaker with today’s update.

Google Assistant is also being updated with the ability to look up TV schedules of your favourite shows. You can now ask Assistant things like “Hey Google, when does Silicon Valley air next” or “Hey Google, what channel airs Silicon Valley” to find when and where a show is going to play.

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Comments (8)

8 responses to “Google Adds New Features to Assistant on Speakers”

  1. wolters

    This is a good step. I migrated from Echo to Google Home, topping off with the Max. One thing I do miss from the Echo is the ability to set alarms from the app. I wish we could initiate the alarm from the app and not just by voice.

  2. offTheRecord

    "Google Play Music subscribers are getting a much-needed feature: you can finally play music you have uploaded to your Play Music library on your smart speaker with today’s update."

    So Google Play Music subscribers could *not* play their own uploaded music on a Home speaker? I'm not a Google Play Music subscriber and I've been able to play music I uploaded to my Play Music library on my Home Mini from day one.

    • jgraebner

      In reply to offTheRecord:

      I was a bit puzzled by that comment in the article too. That was a limitation when the Google Home was first launched, but the ability to play uploaded music was added several months ago.

      • offTheRecord

        In reply to jgraebner:

        Yeah, I should clarify that I bought my Home Minis during the 2017 Black Friday sales, so "day one" for me is basically Thanksgiving last year (several months ago) and not the day the Mini was first available. So I must have bought it soon after they added that functionality. Nevertheless, as we've both noted, that's not a "new" feature.

  3. rgelb

    They should really focus on fixing small things like getting Bluetooth not to lag.

    • wolters

      In reply to rgelb:

      Bluetooth seems to be a common problem for Google. Both the Pixel XL and Pixel 2 XL has had wonky Bluetooth issues for me. On my UCONNECT in my Jeep, if I get any kind of notification sound while streaming , 50% of the time stream audio will stop, though it still shows the seconds go by. I have to disconnect and reconnect and it comes back, but once in a while, I have to reboot phone. :(