Google is looking to make its virtual Assistant available on more and more devices, turning them in smart home gadgets that can be used to control home appliances, security systems, or deliver information. The company announced at IFA 2011 on Thursday that Google Assistant will be available on brand new Android smartphones and tablets, but also new speakers, soundbars, and TVs in the near future.
But the most significant change coming to Assistant is the new Ambient Mode feature, which can help you turn supported smartphones and tablets into smart photo frames while they’re charging.
Ambient Mode will show notifications and reminders, playlist controls, as well as support for managing smart home devices, directly on the lockscreen. Whenever you’re done interacting with a phone or tablet that’s charging in a dock, the display will be turned into a photo frame that displays images from your Google Photos account.
The feature will be available on four new Android devices that were unveiled at IFA this year: Lenovo’s new Smart Tab M7 and Yoga Smart Tab tablets, and Nokia’s mid-range Nokia 7.2 and Nokia 6.2 smartphones. The tablets will require docks for the functionality, while the phones can be turned into Ambient Mode displays when connected to a charger.
It’s unclear when Ambient Mode will be available on other existing Android devices.
Google also announced that Assistant would be available on a variety of new headphones, including JBL LIVE300 TWS, Harman Kardon FLY ANC, Bose NC700, Cleer Flow II, and Halo, Phillips PN505 and PH805, and Sony WI-1000XM2 and WH-H910N. Additionally, Google Assistant will be built-into new speakers and soundbars including the JBL Link Music, Phillips AW25 and TAPN805 (soundbar), Konka G1, SEIKI Tough and Cigar, high fidelity Braun Audio LE01, LE02 and LE03 as well as new TVs from Hisense, Sony, TCL, Philips, Changhong, Haier, Skyworth, Metz, Vestel, Sharp, JVC , XGIMI Projector, RCA and SmartTech.