Google is constantly updating the Assistant, and today, the company is introducing a bunch more features that will roll out to all supported devices, including smartphones, tablets, smart speakers, and smart displays.
For starters, the Assistant is getting more polite. With this update, a new feature arrives called “Pretty Please” which encourages users to be more polite towards their virtual assistant. Saying things like “Hey Google, please play some holiday music” will return a response somewhere along the lines of “Thanks for asking so nicely.” It’s a great feature for families who are promoting good manners to their children.
Another family-friendly feature being added to the Assistant is support for more read-along stories. Now, you and your kiddos can ask Google to read along with titles such as “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” “Cinderella,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” There are also four new titles that will be added over the coming weeks including “Frozen,” “Aladdin,” “Mulan,” and “The Lion King.”
In addition, just in time for the holiday season, Google is now letting folks call Santa Claus using the Assistant. The Big Guy is actually in the middle of practicing for a musical concert but only knows one song. He’ll need your help in perfecting his performance before he goes onstage. Simply say “Hey Google, call Santa” to get started.
There’s also plenty of new Assistant-type features onboard this update. The Google Assistant is getting better at list management thanks to a built-in feature that lets you create lists with your voice. You can use it to create a grocery list, a gift list, a to-do list – all the lists! It also works for notes. Soon, these will sync to services such as Google Keep, Any.do, Bring!, and Todoist. But for now, they’ll remain as a part of your Assistant which will automatically sync them across your devices.
The Assistant can now also let you talk to people who come to your door using the Nest Hello video doorbell and a smart display by pushing the “Talk” button whenever someone rings. You can also use a smart display as a karaoke machine for a select number of songs available on Google Play Music, reply to broadcasts, share photos with your contacts, and quickly set alarms from the home screen.
All of these features are rolling out starting today.