Mother’s Day is this weekend and Google has some new features for Assistant to make running your household even easier. For starters, it is expanding the Broadcast feature to work on phones.
Broadcast is one of the most useful features when communicating with the members in your house. It allows you to send a message across all Assistant-enabled devices such as, “time for dinner” to gather everyone to the dining table at once. That beats yelling, and it’s like having your own personal intercom system.
How could Google make this even better? By extending it to your phone of course. Now, with Family Broadcast when you send a Broadcast message, it will pop up on everyone’s phone, no matter if they have an Android or an iPhone. Plus, they can even reply back using their voice. Just make sure each person has the Google app installed and that you have them in your Google Family Group.
Next up, Family Bell is expanding to eight new languages, including French, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, German, Hindi, and Korean. The change won’t happen by Mother’s Day, but Google says it will be rolling out over the coming weeks. What is rolling out immediately, is the ability to have Family Bells ring across multiple Assistant smart speakers or displays.
In case you didn’t know, Family Bell is like setting a reminder on steroids. It allows you to create reminders for those tasks you always forget to do and pick which Assistant-enabled speaker or display you want it to pop-up on. It even allows for repeating reminders so you can make sure to get the trash out every week, or whatever else you keep forgetting to do. Also, just like with timers and alarms, you can just say “stop” when you hear the Family Bell without having to say “Hey Google” first.
More stories and games are coming to Assistant smart displays and speakers as well. It’s all kicking off with some Harry Potter stories thanks to Google’s partnership with Pottermore Publishing. Just say “Hey Google, tell me a Quidditch Story” and you’ll be able to learn more about the fantastical sport from the world of Harry Potter. And later this year, there will be more stories to come from the Wizarding World.
The “Who Was?” series is also coming to smart displays from Penguin Random House. Just say “Hey Google, talk to Who Was Heroes” and you can listen to stories about Ida B. Wells, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and more than 100 others. A full list can be viewed by saying, “Hey Google, tell me a story.”
Do you think you’re smarter than a fifth grader? Well, now you can find out, because you the popular game show has come to smart displays. All you have to do is say, “Hey Google, talk to Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” and get ready to have some fun.
Google also has a special Easter egg for Mother’s Day. If you want to see what it is, then try setting a timer on the special day and find out.
Additionally, there are some new songs joining the handwashing song for kids. You can now request songs for cleaning up, brushing your teeth, and even for sleeping. To do that, just try these commands, “Hey Google, sing the clean up song,” “Hey Google, sing the brush your teeth song,” or “Hey Google, sing the go to sleep song.”