Google Assistant Gets 5 Useful New Features

Posted on April 14, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, Google, iOS, Mobile, Smart Home with 8 Comments

Today, Google announced five useful new features for its Assistant, including bringing its “find my phone” functionality to iPhone.

“Spring is here, and with it, a helping hand from Google Assistant,” Google’s Lilian Rincon writes. “Today we’re introducing five new features that help you tackle small things around the house and from the car.”

The new features are:

Find my phone on iPhone. The ability to locate an Android handset is one of the most popular Assistant features, and now it works on iPhone too. “Once you opt in to receiving notifications and critical alerts from the Google Home app, you’ll get a notification and hear a custom ringing sound, even when the phone is on silent or if Do Not Disturb is enabled,” Rincon notes.

Online food orders. Thanks to the pandemic, many businesses have added an “order” button to their profiles in Google Search and Maps. Now, Assistant can help you complete orders in just a few steps using Duplex on the web. To use this feature, locate a local restaurant in the Google app and “Order Online” or “Order Pickup.” Then, when you finish the order, click “check out,” and Assistant will automatically navigate the site and fill out the contact and payment details you previously saved in Google Pay and synced to Chrome Autofill. Google is partnering with “select restaurant chains” in the U.S. only for now, but it will be adding more later this year.

Sunrise and sunset routines. New sunrise and sunset routines that are based on your location are now available globally. “For example, you can automatically have your living room lights turn on and the sprinklers start when the sun goes down,” Rincon says.

Multiple action support. Using Assistant Routines, you can now more easily automate multiple actions at once with a single command. Google has provided a section for Ready-Made Routines to help get you started, and you can add a shortcut to your Android home screen for a favorite Routine.

Answer questions about the Oscars. Now, Assistant can answers questions like “Hey Google, when are the Oscars?” or “Hey Google, who’s nominated for Animated Feature Film at the Oscars?” to help you learn more about the awards show.

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Comments (8)

8 responses to “Google Assistant Gets 5 Useful New Features”

  1. rbwatson0

    I believe they are trying to redefine the word `useful`. /s

  2. jimchamplin

    Oscars info is considered a major new feature?


    Technology is dead.

  3. Cdorf

    That last one .... "“Today we’re introducing five new features that help you tackle small things around the house and from the car.”


    

  4. IanYates82

    Mutli action support has been available for a long time. Is it like saying "put the kids to bed" and it knows to change some lights, set an alarm, play some rain sounds, etc? If so, then it's been there for years.

  5. cnc123

    Have that they figured out how to make the assistant "Call Paul T" without tracking all of your web history? No? Someone nudge me when that happens.

  6. BBoileau

    Routine with multi-action is not new. It has been prone to many errors and inconsistencies. What may be new is they improved some of this. I like the sunrise/sunset feature, although I have been doing this with hass.io for some time now.

  7. whistlerpro

    So far I haven’t got the iPhone to make a peep when asking the speaker. I’ll keep trying though.

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