Technology Google expands Broadcast and adds more family-friendly Assistant features
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.
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.
Pixel Buds A-Series review: Impressive features for $99
After months of rumors and brief appearances, Google has officially revealed the Pixel Buds A-Series. True to the early hints, they’re mostly the same in terms of both design and features as last year’s true wireless Pixel Buds. There are a few key differences, but the main one is that the A-Series is only $99. For that price, I’d argue there are some features you can probably live without. Design The Pixel Buds A-Series have the same design as the Pixel Buds from 2020. Except for the new Dark Olive color option and the white version being two-tone with gray instead of black, you’d have a difficult time telling them apart.
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.
A simple Chromecast trick for playing music in every room of your house
Whether you have an iPhone or Android, Google Nest speaker, or a Chromecast built-in audio device, here's how to use them with Google Assistant to stream music throughout your home.Devices compatible with Chromecast built-in, such as the Google Nest Audio, the Onkyo TX-NR696 receiver and the JBL Playlist speaker, can work singly or in concert throughout your home. You can create groups of multiple devices and send music, news or whatever to any or all of them at the same time, using the Google Home app on your phone or with your voice via the Google Assistant.
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.
Are the Google Pixel Buds A-Series the Smartest True Wireless Earbuds? .
Tailor-made for Google Assistant users$99.