Google Home Max Lands in Australia on August 9th

Google Home Max

Google Home Max is coming to Australia.  The largest of the Google Home family devices will be coming on August 9th to a variety of retailers at a price of $549 AU, roughly $406 US.  That’s a bit more than the $399 here in the US but not by much.

The news came from the Official Google Australia blog today and it makes Australia the third country where Google Home Max is available after the United States and Canada.

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Google Assistant Begins Rolling Out Russian Language Support

Google Assistant in Russian

Отличные новости! Google Assistant теперь доступен на русском языке

The global expansion of Google Assistant took another step forward this morning, with the release of Russian language support for the service.  While it is still in the process of rolling out to compatible phones, the Official Google Blog in Russia has been updated with the news of the release and indicates that the roll out for both Android and iOS will be taking place over the next several days for devices running Android Lollipop and later.

The news comes on the heals of Google Assistant supporting Dutch in the Netherlands just last week and a plethora of other features that have rolled out over the past several months.

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You Can Now Scheduled Custom Routines on Google Home

Schedule Custom Routines on Google Home

Google continues to roll out new features to Google Home and Google Assistant to make them more personalized to your needs.  The latest of these updates is rolling out now and it gives you the ability to schedule your custom routines you have setup on your Google Home.

Routines, for those that are new to Home, came to the devices back in March while custom routines – ones you create yourself – came in May.  At Google I/O, the Mountain View company said that scheduling of your custom routines would be coming too.  This would allow for you to schedule the day and time you want a routine to be available to run.

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Google Assistant Launched in The Netherlands – Now Speaks Dutch

Google Assistant in Dutch

Ja! Google Assistent is nu beschikbaar in Nederland! En het spreekt Nederlands!

The slow but steady global expansion of Google Assistant has taken another step today.  The personal assistant has launched in the Netherlands with Dutch language support.  In the announcement today, Google points out that Assistant not only speaks Dutch, but is Dutch.

The functionality and personality are adapted to our country – the assistant sings Dutch songs, follows Dutch football and understands that the weather is very important to us.

The launch is also supported by a wide range of Dutch companies through Assistant Actions that they have created to provide a native experience.

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Report Finds Google Assistant The Most Accurate Smartphone Digital Assistant

Google Assistant Logo

Loup Ventures has posted their second annual Digital Assistant report and it shows just how accurate and reliable Google Assistant is when compared to its competitors.  In the report, Google Assistant was able to answer the 800 questions asked of it with 86% accuracy and it understood 100% of the questions it was asked during the test.  Assistant’s nearest competitor was Apple Siri which had a 78.5% accuracy rate and a 99% understanding rate.

The results reflect what a lot of people, particularly the Android faithful, felt about Google’s AI driven assistant.  Now it has more concrete proof to support those subjective feelings with this report from Loup Ventures.

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You Can Now Make Google Duo Calls Directly From Google Assistant

Make A Video Call With Google Duo from Google Assistant

Google Assistant has grown by leaps and bounds over the course of 2018 with more skills and actions.  Some of those have been in Android, some of those in Google Home, and expansion of both has been happening globally.  Now another new feature is available for Assistant users on Android:  The ability to make Google Duo video calls straight from it.

Now, instead of having to open up the Google Duo app on your phone, you can simply open up Google Assistant and say, “Hey Google, make a video call to…” the person you want to call.  Once Assistant confirms the contact and number, you are dropped into Duo to have your call.

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Visual Snapshots Now Appearing in The Google App on Android

Visual Snapshots in Google Assistant

A couple of days ago, Google announced Visual Snapshots were coming to Google Assistant for both Android and iOS users.  Those began broadly rolling out yesterday and provide you snippets of information about your day and other things by going into Assistant and tapping the what was known as the Explore icon.

Now it seems that Google has begun quietly rolling this out to the Google app itself.  If you open up the Google app on your phone and tap what was known as the Explore icon, you will be brought to the new visual snapshots and not the old card-style view of the past.

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Visual Snapshots Now Broadly Rolling Out in Google Assistant

Visual Snapshots in Google Assistant

Yesterday, Google announced Visual Snapshots were coming to Google Assistant.  These tidbits of information about your day or events, strikingly similar to what use to be offered by Google Now prior to it becoming Google Feed, are aimed at providing you snapshots of information throughout your day.  Now these new snapshots are widely rolling out to Google Assistant and, chances are, you likely have them already.

Accessed via Google Assistant and pressing the tray icon, Visual Snapshots give you a glimpse at your calendar, map information to your next appointment, weather information, and the ability to track travel and other reminders all within a single pane.  You also have a top carousel that give you one touch access to things like Spotify, making a phone call and setting a reminder.

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