Technology Google's Stadia controller gains basic Assistant functionality

15:27  30 june  2020
15:27  30 june  2020 Source:   engadget.com

The Stadia Controller finally works wirelessly with Android phones

  The Stadia Controller finally works wirelessly with Android phones The Stadia Controller is slowly but surely becoming more useful, with some of the features players might have expected at launch at last making their way to the peripheral. Basic Google Assistant capabilities had been available in early access since December, but Google is finally rolling them out to everyone. Perhaps more importantly, as of today, players can use the controller wirelessly with Android devices. You’ll need the latest version of the Stadia game-streaming app to pair the controller. Once you’ve connected your phone and the peripheral to the same WiFi network, the app will walk you through the process.

When Google announced Stadia , it talked up what the Assistant could do for players in-game: its voice assistant would answer gameplay questions and even pull up video tutorials to help with particularly tricky bits. We're now one step closer to that reality, as basic Assistant functionality is

The Google Assistant button on the controller had until now been inactive, displaying only a coming soon message on your screen upon being pushed. Today that' s finally going to change, as Google activates Stadia ' s Assistant button. To activate the feature, you must navigate to the new Google

a close up of a remote control: Stadia Controller Stadia Controller

Google said from the get-go that its Stadia controller would completely switch up the gaming experience. A button on the controller has been designed to link players directly to the Google Assistant AI helper, meaning you could pull up tips and info — and even video tutorials — without losing your game. The feature has been available in early access since December, and now it’s rolling out to all players. But it doesn’t (yet) look anything like Google promised.

As Android Policereports, right now the function is only live on TVs — so mobile and desktop players will find the button does nothing. If you are playing on TV, though, don’t get too excited about the button’s offerings. It doesn’t yet detect the game you’re playing, nor offer options to provide related help. At this juncture, it operates in the same way your standard Google Assistant does: you can ask questions about the weather and control your smart home devices, for example.

Considering the Stadia controller has been lauded by Google for well over a year now, the lack of development with the Assistant button is a bit disappointing — especially as there’s little else to distinguish the controller from others. That said, progress is progress, and this small advance at least reassures players that Google is on the case, and that, hopefully, future developments will follow shortly.

Google Photos now offers more control over album sharing .
Google is making it easier to control who gets to see your most cherished memories. The next time you want to send a Google Photos album to someone, the app will prompt you to invite a specific person or group of people to look at your photos and videos through their Google account. The functionality builds on the direct sharing feature Google introduced in December to allow people to send one-off photos and videos to their friends and family and give them a place to chat about those images. Thanks to this change, you'll have more explicit control over who sees your albums. Once you send an invite, Google will let the person know through an email and in-app notification.

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This is interesting!