What's new for Google Assistant and the smart home for 2020

Everything you need to know about what Google announced Home-wise at CES

What's new for Google Assistant for 2020
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Google used CES 2020 to detail a bunch of new features hitting Home and the Google Assistant over the coming months. In a post titled A more helpful Google Assistant for your every day, Manuel Bronstein, VP of Product for Google Assistant outlined some pretty substantial upgrades for platform.

Read on for all the key info...

Adding devices will be easier

Currently, if you want to add smart home devices for the Google Assistant you have to take a few steps through the Google Home app. And, while that's unlikely to change, Google is making it easier to kick-start the process.

When you get your new bit of smart home kit out of the box and begin the process of adding it to your home network, you’ll get a notification on your Android smartphone or see a 'suggestion button'.

That prompt will jump you straight into the Google Home app and let you connect the device with your Assistant. You want need to sign-in to your Google account through the device's app; everything will sync up for you.

Specific scheduled actions

Google is making is more natural to interact with your smart home devices with a new feature called Scheduled Actions, which is landing later this year.

Scheduled Actions will let you ask the Assistant to turn activate a compatible device at the time of your choosing. So you could say things like:

"OK Google, start the coffee pot at 7am"
"Hey Google, turn the heating off at 10pm"
"OK Google, fill the bath tomorrow at 6.30"
"Hey Google, start the Roomba at 3pm"

You get the idea.

New Google Assistant 2020

Digital sticky notes for smart displays

We've seen this on other 'family-focused' devices before, so it's surprising it's taken Google so long to add what is essentially a pretty basic feature but, if you own a Google Home Smart Display, you'll be able to leave digital sticky notes for your household to read.

Anyone in your house will be able to create or view the notes without needing to sign in. You could, for example, leave a note informing other household members that there is leftover pizza in the fridge. Simply say, “Hey Google, leave a note saying there's pizza in the fridge.”

It can be used for other, non-pizza, related things too.

Enhanced privacy

Google’s privacy controls are now more accessible with the Assistant. Say things like “Hey Google, how do you keep my information private?” or “Hey Google, delete everything I said to you this week.”

You can also say, “OK Google, that wasn’t for you,” and the Assistant will tell you it will delete what it thought it heard.

We've tested it and these features are live and working right now.

VIPs on speed dial

Later this year, you'll be able to add your important contacts on “speed dial”. The idea is that anyone at home will be able to quickly and easily make calls on your Home speakers and Smart Displays.

Once set up, anyone can dial people by saying "OK Google, call [name]" or by tapping on their name on a Smart Display's household contacts list.

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