Google began pushing new updates to Google Assistant and Smart Displays this morning with loads of new features, many of which that have been talked about at least two times now. The updates are worth talking about once again, though, because they add some fun and useful new features.
Here they are in short form, so that you aren’t here all day:
- A feature called “Pretty Please” tries to reward you for saying “please” and “thank you” when interacting with Google Assistant. If you use those words, you’ll get pleasant responses from Google in return. It’s just enabled, so use away.
- Google Assistant can now manage multiple lists! Instead of only that dumb shopping list thing they moved away from Keep and onto a stand-alone, not-easy-to-get-to shopping list site, you’ll now get to manage other lists. Think to-do and gift lists. Just tell Google to add items to each.
- Two-way conversations have been added to Nest Hello doorbells with Smart Displays nearby. You knew this was coming.
- With Google Play Music subscriptions, Smart Displays will now show lyrics on screen as songs play.
- Google wants to remind you that Smart Displays and Home units are great for reading stories to your kids.
- You should “Hey Google, Call Santa” with your kids.
- Next week, you’ll finally be able to respond to Broadcast calls. This was first announced 2 weeks ago.
- Google Photos sharing has been added, so if a fun photo shows up on your Smart Display, you can tell Google to share it with someone.
- Want to set a quick alarm? Just swipe up from the bottom on your Smart Display and tap the new alarm button.
Smart Displays really are starting to pull miles away from Amazon’s Echo devices with displays. This stuff is genuinely useful.