Technology Google expands Broadcast and adds more family-friendly Assistant features
Google Slides receives a few refinements
People who create, edit and present Google Slides may appreciate the streamlined presenter tool, improved video controls and recent mobile app enhancements.SEE: Google Sheets: Tips and tricks (TechRepublic download)
If you're a parent or often find yourself needing to wrangle a group of people in your household, Google'smight be helpful. It's expanding that was previously limited to its smart speakers and displays to iPhones and Android devices. The company also announced a set of new features for the Assistant, including stories, games, songs and a Mother's Day surprise.
Broadcast lets you send a message to all compatible devices at once, and you can create groups to specify who you want to reach. Google allows you to set up a Family group for up to six of your relatives, and the expansion being announced today will let you reach these members on their phones too. Just as they already could from a Nest speaker or display, your contact can now reply to your message from their Android or iPhone.
Hey Google, find my iPhone! Google Assistant's new trick breaks down wall with Apple
Plus, streamlined take-out orders, sunrise and sunset routines go global and more premade routine templates to choose from.You can now ask Google Assistant on your Google-branded smart speaker to "find" (i.e., "ring") your iPhone, even if it's on silent or do not disturb. (You'll have to opt-in on your iPhone's security settings to enable this feature.) That may seem like a small -- albeit exceptionally useful -- improvement over the previous feature (Google Home could call your phone but not bypass silence settings), but it's actually a tremendous stride toward ecosystem interoperability.
Google is also improvingfeature that let you set school-bell-like alarms throughout the day. Starting today, you can have Family Bells ring across multiple devices in your home at once, instead of just one. It's also adding support for eight new languages, including Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Italian, French, German, Portugese and Spanish.
The Assistant also provides educational content, and the company is adding to its library this week. It's partnered with Pottermore Publishing to provide Harry Potter stories. On a smart display or Android device, you can ask the Assistant "Tell me a Quidditch story" to learn more about the fictional sport. Google says more content from the Wizarding World is coming later in the year.
How to use Google Calendar: 6 tips
As public events gradually resume after a long pause, these tips can help you track community events, minimize scheduling conflicts and ensure access to your calendar as you travel.The following six tips cover how you can use Google Calendar in a desktop-class web browser to add external event calendars, quickly toggle these on or off, make additional times and time zones visible, configure non-contiguous working hours, receive a daily agenda in email, as well as how to make your calendar available offline—as you travel. All of these tips work in Google Calendar on the web with Chrome on a laptop or desktop system.
In addition to fiction, the Assistant is also getting new historical content from Penguin Random House's Who Was series. By saying "Talk to Who Was Heroes," you can listen to stories about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ida B. Wells, and more than 100 others. To test your knowledge after all that learning, you can also play new games like Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader on Assistant-enabled smart displays. Finally, there are also two new songs about cleaning up and brushing your teeth that Google said are meant "to help kids stay on task and do their chores." The company also teased a Mother's Day surprise for those who set a timer this weekend.
Google Is Dropping 6 New Android Features Ahead of Android 12 .
Android 12 isn’t expected to be ready for its official release until later this fall, but in the meantime Google is rolling out six new features to Android devices this summer. The new features range from updates to Google’s custom emoji system in Gboard to new personalization options in Android Auto and even the expansion of an emergency alert network. Let’s dive in.For people trying to keep better tabs on their chats, Google is adding the ability to star individual messages in the Google Messages app.