Google Assistant Now Supports HBO NOW Account Linking

HBO Now Support in Google Assistant

Google has quietly made a background update to Google Assistant that allows you to link your HBO NOW account to it.  That means that you can stream content from the service to your Chromecast devices simply by asking Assistant to do so via your phone or Google Home.

HBO NOW is the stand alone streaming service from the premium movie service.  It is $14.99 per month and is for cable cutters who do not have a cable or satellite subscription.  For those that do have HBO as part of their cable package, the app to stream content on your Android device is HBO GO but that cannot be connected to Google Assistant.

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Google Home Now Supports Sleep Timers

Google Home

Google has quietly added a great new feature to the Google Home lineup:  Sleep Timers.  According to an updated support page from the company, you can now set timers to play music for a specific duration of time as you prepare for bed or have Home play that lullaby for the little ones.   As with most Google Assistant commands for Home, it is pretty easy to setup.

The most basic way to setup a sleep timer with music is to say, “Hey Google, play (artist/genre/playlist) for (duration)”.  If you are just wanting a sleep timer, just say, “Hey Google, set a sleep timer for (duration)”.  You can also set up a sleep timer to stop at a certain time (say, 9:30 p.m.).  It is actually quite flexible in how you set up the timers.  While these fall under the category of sleep timers, you can use them for other purposes.  For example, you could set a time for 30 minutes with mediation music as you meditate in the morning.  Once the music stops, you know your session has ended.

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Google Assistant Find My Phone Feature Now Live

Google Home

Yesterday during the Google product event, a new Find My Phone through Google Assistant was demonstrated.  Using Assistant on your Google Home, it can locate your phone by ringing it, even if it is in Do Not Disturb, so you can find it somewhere in your house.  The question during the demo was when the feature would roll out to everyone?

The answer is right now.

The Find My Phone feature has gone live and now you can simply go to your Google Home and say, “OK Google, find my phone”.  It will then identify the phone you are wanting to find (if you have multiple phones) and will then ask you if you want it to ring your phone at full volume.  So long as you have Find My Phone enabled on your account and Android phone, the feature works – and well.

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Send Information from Google Assistant to Your Phone

Google Assistant

With all of the announcements around Google Home and Google Assistant yesterday at Google’s big product event, it is not surprising that we are starting to see new functionality come into the products.  One of the new functions that you can do with Assistant is send information that you have searched for to your phone so you can get to it while on the go.  It saves you from having to do the search again from your phone.

How it works is pretty straight forward.  On your Google Home, ask Assistant about something and then follow it up with “OK Google, send this to my phone”.  For example, “OK Google, what was the score of the Rockies game?”  Google will give you the sad loss of the Rockies to the Diamondbacks last night.  As soon as Assistant finishes, say “OK Google, send this to my phone” and the results are sent to you phone via a notification.  Tap that notification and you can get that information.

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Google Home Mini Officially Announced

Google Home Mini

At the Google event this morning in San Francisco, the new Google Home Mini was officially announced with availability starting later this month.  The hockey puck style Home Mini is designed to integrate into the décor of any home without being intrusive.  It comes in three colors, coral, chalk and charcoal.

Like Google Home, the Mini has Google Assistant built-in and works seamlessly with existing Google Home to make it available in every room.  It can also be apart of the new Broadcast feature that is coming to Home so a message can be sent to every Home in the house.

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Google Event Live Stream Information

Google Pixel 2 XL White

The much anticipated Google event to launch the next generation of Pixel phones, the new Pixelbook, the new Google Home Mini and many other things happens tomorrow.  The event kicks off at 9 a.m. Pacific here in the US.  That’s 12 p.m. Eastern and 5 p.m. London time.  The event is being held in San Francisco.

As they have done with previous events, Google will be streaming the event live on YouTube.

You can go to YouTube and watch it there or you can simply watch it below.  Either way, you can set yourself a reminder to tune in for the event.

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Google Home Update Suggests Google Assistant Coming to Chrome OS

Google Assistant in Google Home App

Whether it was intentional or not, Google has all-but confirmed that Google Assistant will be coming to Chrome OS in the near future.  In the latest update for Google Home for Android, the Chat with Google Assistant section of the app (in the Explore portion of the app) clearly indicates Chromebooks as an option for Assistant.  You can see a screenshot of it after the break.

Seeing this is not entirely unexpected.  Google has been rumored to be bringing their AI driving Assistant to Chrome OS and with the Pixel event later this week, where the Pixel Book is expected to be announced as a premium Chromebook offering.  Other teardowns of Chrome OS and the Google Home app have also pointed to code that suggests Google Assistant is going to coming to Chrome OS.  In other words, there is a 99% chance this is accurate.

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