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Google just announced these exciting new Google Assistant features

Published May 6th, 2021 12:06PM EDT
Google Assistant New Features
Image: Google

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Google is celebrating Mother’s Day this year with a few useful new Google Assistant capabilities that could make communicating with your family even easier. The new features aren’t just about moms or dads, for that matter. Anyone can take advantage of them to send quick messages via voice to a group and create special reminders for specific purposes inside the home. The new Google Assistant update also brings novel entertainment options to home devices, including support for more stories and games. On top of all that, the Assistant will now let you quiet those new alarms with a simple command.

Broadcast, a Google Assistant feature that lets you send messages using voice commands to a specific group of people like your family, is getting an excellent upgrade. You’ll be able to reach the members of your groups wherever they are, Google explained in a blog post. In turn, they’ll be able to respond from any device that can run the Assistant, whether it’s an Android gadget, a smart speaker, or an iPhone.

Google Assistant
Family Broadcast message on a smart Nest display. Image source: Google

A command like “Hey Google, tell my family, let’s have dinner at seven” will push the message to all smart Nest speakers and displays, Google says. Recipients can then reply by voice or by tapping the reply button. The animation below shows a Family Broadcast conversation in action.

Google Assistant
Family Broadcast message on a smartphone. Image source: Google

Family Bell, a reminder that runs on smart speakers, is getting a bunch of useful upgrades. First of all, Family Bell will ring across multiple home devices, not just smart speakers or displays. You’ll also now be able to say “stop” to end the bell. Google announced these simple voice commands for Assistant a few days ago, and Family Bell alarms now work with them. Google said that Family Bell will expand to eight new languages, including French, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, German, Hindi, and Korean.

Google Assistant
Animation for a new clean up song that can be played on Nest Hub. Image source: Google

Google is also introducing two new songs for kids that should help children do their chores and other tasks. New commands including “Hey Google, sing the cleanup song,” “Hey Google, sing the go to sleep song,” or “Hey Google, sing the brush your teeth song” will be available for home devices. Google has also partnered with Pottermore Publishing to bring more stories from the Harry Potter universe to smart displays and Android devices, starting with Quidditch — Assistant can now respond to “Hey Google, tell me a Quidditch story” commands.

Google Assistant
Google Assistant supports more stories. Image source: Google

Penguin Random House’s Who Was? series will also be available on smart displays, activated via a “Hey Google, talk to Who Was Heroes” command. Kids under 13 can have a personalized Google Assistant experience on Google’s smart devices, including stories and games.

Google Assistant
Playing a trivia game on Google’s Nest Hub smart speaker. Image source: Google

Speaking of games, Assistant will now support family games on Nest Hub and other devices. Say, “Hey Google, talk to ‘Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?’” to start a trivia game on your smart display.

Finally, Google also squeezed in a few Easter eggs, including a timer mode for Mother’s Day.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.