CES 2020: Here’s what Google is adding to the Assistant this year


Every year, Google makes a big splash at the annual Consumer Electronics Show with a splashy attraction outside the Las Vegas Convention Center and a ton of news surrounding its Google Assistant. This year was no different, with a giant temporary structure with color slides and a press release filled with new features that’ll be rolling out to the Assistant throughout 2020.

I said yesterday in my newsletter that I’d be breaking down all these features in more detail, but truth be told, there isn’t much to break down. Each feature is pretty self-explanatory. Still, this news deserves to stand on its own in the form of an article, and that’s just what this post is.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Easier smart home device setup

This year, Google is making it easier to set up new smart home devices in your house on Android phones. When setting up a third-party device, you’ll get either a notification on your phone or a “suggestion button” in the Google Home app that can walk you through the setup process quickly and easily.

In addition, Google is adding more support for different kinds of third-party smart home appliances. This includes products including August Smart Locks, Philips Hue HDMI Sync Box, Telus Wi-Fi Hub routers, GE Appliances Ultrafresh Front Load Washer, MOEN shower, D-Link Outdoor Wi-Fi Spotlight camera, VIAROOM Smart, Somfy TaHoma Hub, Yeelight Staria Bedside Lamp Pro and MerossSmart’s garage door opener, according to Google.

Scheduled Actions

This feature feels like one of those features you’d expect to already be available through the Assistant. It’s called Scheduled Actions, and it lets you ask the Assistant to do something at a specific time.

When the feature rolls out, you’ll be able to say things like, “Hey Google, start the coffee maker at 6 a.m.” This will give you a one-time action scheduled for when you want it to go off. The feature will be available for more than 20 new devices including AC units, vacuums, and bathtubs.

Sticky Notes & Speed Dials

Both of these features will roll out to Smart Displays this year. Called Sticky Notes and Speed Dials, they basically do what you expect: Sticky Notes lets you create yellow notes for your family to see in order to remind them of something, and Speed Dials lets you create a list of people you can simply tap on to call.

Improved privacy

Wrapping things up, Google will be releasing improved privacy features for the Assistant over the next year. This includes the ability to tell Google to erase everything you said over the last week, reminding it that a certain command may not have been for it, and even asking Google how they keep your info private. Privacy is a hot topic nowadays with so many companies tossing your data around, so it’s nice to hear that Google will be further strengthening their privacy practices in 2020.

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