Category: Google Assistant

Google Assistant Can Now Track Flight Costs

Google Assistant continues to gain power and knowledge, especially when it comes to integrating with other Google services.  The latest example has rolled out today and was announced on the Made by Google Twitter feed.  Now you can track flight costs from one point to another by simply giving a command.

How it works is straightforward.  Simply ask Google Assistant, “What is the cost from (A) to (B)” with A & B replaced with locations.  Assistant will then process the information and present you with all of your flight options.  By default it will give you flight information two weeks out but you can change this by including a specific date.  It will also give you the shortest flight time for the trip you have asked information on from Assistant.

Multiple Account Support Coming to Google Home

While the feature isn’t enabled yet, it appears that Google Home will soon be getting the ability to support multiple accounts.  As a Google Home Pioneer, if there are two feature requests that have been at the top of the list, it has been multiple account support and support for Exchange calendars.  The former, at least, appears to be nearly ready.  This is something that I also pointed out in my review of Google Home back in October as being something which Google needed to address.

If you aren’t familiar with Google Home, right now you can only associate one Google account with the device.  If, for example, you and your partner want to use Home, it will only give you the calendar and other personalized information for the first account setup on the device.  The issues with this are pretty self evident:  I can get my calendar’s next appointment but when my wife asks for her, she gets mine.  Even if you add a second account to the Home app, it will only give you the personalized information for the first account.

Google Assistant Starts Rolling to The OnePlus 3 & 3T

OnePlus took to Twitter today with some good news for OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T owners.  Google Assistant is coming your way.  The built in assistant, which Google announced was coming to all devices running Marshmallow and Nougat, has been slowly making the rounds as manufactures work with Google to get it on their devices.  OnePlus is just one of the latest but it is good to see that manufactures aren’t standing in the way of getting it out to customers.

If you own a 3 or a 3T, like other devices who have already received Google Assistant, there isn’t anything you need to do other than make sure you have the latest build of the Google Search app on your phone.  That more-or-less tells Google your phone is ready to be updated on the backend.

Google Assistant is not Coming to Android Tablets

With Google Assistant rolling out widely to Android Marshmallow and Nougat running phones, the question of if the new feature would be hitting Android tablets too.  The answer is no.  The team over at Android Police got confirmation from Google directly that the feature will only be rolling out to phones and not to tablets.  As an Android tablet user (albeit limited these days), its a bit disappointing that the feature won’t be rolling out.  That said, it’s understandable.  Given that tablet sales are stagnate at best and most people are driving activity and searches from their phones, it just makes sense for Google not to invest the time and effort into getting it onto tablets.

If you are desperate to get Google Assistant on your tablet, there are hacks that will get it there for you.  If you hit the link to the Android Police article, they have a link to show you how to do it.  But,

Google Assistant

Google Assistant

as always, proceed with caution.

Keep in mind that you can still use OK Google on your tablet, you just won’t have all the new benefits of Google Assistant on it.

Is this disappointing news for you?  Are you surprised?  Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

iHeartRadio Support Coming to Google Home

Google has quietly updated the supported services page for Google Home, adding iHeartRadio as a supported music streaming service.  Once it goes live, likely in the next few days, you will be able to request specific songs and artists to be played from the service.  Adding it will be similar to other services like Pandora and Google Play Music.  It will be under the Music section in the Google Home app where you will use your iHeartRadio account to sign in and link it to your Home.

The addition of this new service is another step in the continued growth of Google Home.  Dozens of informational services have been added since the smart speaker-meets-Google Assistant was released back in November.

Google Home Coming to The United Kingdom

With Google Assistant expanding to Android Marshmallow and Nougat devices, it only makes sense that Google Home start expanding too.  News has come from Google that starting next quarter (March-May) the smart speaker with Google Assistant embedded is going to make its way to the United Kingdom.  The news came from the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones who reported on a conversation he had with Google’s Rick Osterloh who indicated Home was on its way to the UK.

This will certainly be good news for readers in the UK.  Home, to this point, has been exclusively US-based but that hasn’t stopped some from buying them and having them shipped to the UK even though it isn’t support.  That, of course, has created some problems in that some of the services won’t work.

Google Assistant Coming to Android Phones Running Marshmallow and Nougat

After being exclusive to the Google Pixel phone lineup, Google Assistant is making its way to Android Marshmallow and Nougat devices starting this week.  The news is certainly welcome.  Google Assistant has expanded to being in Google Home, Android Wear 2.0 and Google Allo but for adoption to really take off, it needs to be on phones and not just the latest Google flagship.  Google made it pretty clear which devices are going to see Assistant.  First, it has to be running Android Marshmallow or Android Nougat.  If you are running Lollipop or earlier, you are not going to get the update.  Second, your phone has to be running Google Play Services.  The vast majority of devices out there do run Play Services but you can check on your phone by going to Settings>Apps then tap the Show Systems option in the menu then scroll down and it (they are in alphabetical order).

Assuming your phone meets these two criteria, Google Assistant will automatically be pushed to your phone via Play Services.

Google Assistant Coming to Android TV

Google is expanding the reach of Google Assistant and it is coming to a television near you.  At CES 2017 yesterday, the company announced that the AI-driven personal assistant would be coming to Android TV and a wide range of other Smart TVs on the market.

In the coming months, the Google Assistant on Android TV will come to the NVIDIA SHIELD, along with all Android TVs in the US running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or Android 7.0 Nougat, such as the AirTV Player, Sharp Aquos, Sony Bravia, Xiaomi Mi Box, and more. And once available, the NVIDIA SHIELD will be the first TV device to offer a hands-free Assistant experience — so “Dim the lights” will only be an “Ok Google” away!

The news means that Google Assistant will start moving beyond Google Home or the Google Pixel phone line up, expanding further into the home as they try to compete with Amazon’s Echo and Alexa technology.

Google Announces Google Home

Today Google announced Google Home, their in-home device that gives you search and personal information by voice command.  Aimed at competing with the Amazon Echo, Google Home brings the power of Google Artificial Intelligence to give you detailed information about your day, upcoming events, search information, travel information and the like.   And it is for everyone in the family.  Like Google OnHub, Home is aimed at sitting out in the open and doesn’t look like a piece of techno-kit sitting on a shelf.

What is Expected at The Google Event on October 4th

When the announcement came out a few weeks ago that Google would be holding an event on October 4th, it seems pretty straight forward.  This Google event, it seemed, would bring us a couple of new phones and that would be about it.  However, the much anticipated Pixel and Pixel XL are likely to only be the tip of the iceberg.  The event is shaping up to be huge with announcements across a wide swath of the Google landscape.

While everything to this point is purely rumor, there are strong indicators of what we will see or won’t see.  I’ve put together a list of things we are likely to see in the October 4th event and it is expansive.  Get ready for a really exciting day!

Google Pixel / Google Pixel XL – Probability:  100%

Fundamentally, this event started as a launch event for Google’s new phones, the 5.2″ Pixel and 5.5″ Pixel XL.  Both devices are expected to be launched with the new Pixel Launcher and with

Google Pixel

Google Pixel

Android Nougat 7.1, the first maintenance release for the latest version of Android.  As for the details, both devices are expected to be powered by the Snapdragon 820 processor and both will have 4GB of RAM.  Both are expected to have a 12MP main camera, fingerprint scanner and sticking with Nexus tradition, will not have a MicroSD card for storage expansion.  They will however come with 32, 64 or 128GB of Storage.

The devices have been heavily influenced by Google and are built by HTC.  It is also expect that for the first time, Google will have their phones in carrier and retailers.  Pricing is still a bit of a mystery but something around the $450 mark for the Pixel and $650 for the XL (starting price) is likely.

Finally, don’t expect these phones to be available on the 4th.  It will likely be the end of the month before we see them ship if history holds true.  You will however likely be able to pre-order them on or around the 4th.

How To Sign Up For Subscriptions in Google Assistant in Allo

With the release of Google Allo earlier this week, Google also released an increadbly powerful feature inside the app.  Google Assistant, as the name suggests, aims to give you information, weather and even play games (and tell a joke or two) all within Allo.  Indeed, with Allo itself still needing some fleshing out, Google Assistant is by far the killer feature of the app and gives us a glimpse as to what we can expect as the company starts rolling this out to other devices like Google Home.

One of the great feature of Assistant is the ability to sign up for news, weather and other information in a subscription that is delivered to you daily.  It is a great way to stay up-to-date with the latest information on a topic of your choice.  In this How To I’ll show you how to subscribe and manage your subscriptions within Assistant.