4 Google Assistant additions worth watching

Google Assistant may not be perfect, but goodness gracious, is it ever growing.

Seems rarely a month goes by these days where Google doesn’t announce some new capability for its platform-defying (and, some would argue, platform-creating) virtual assistant. But Assistant’s most significant growth spurt may still be ahead of us.

A handful of new and upcoming Assistant features really jump out at me as having the potential to collectively catapult the service’s utility to some impressive new heights. Only time will tell if they end up being as impressive in the real world as they seem in theory, of course, but these four features are absolutely worth keeping an eye on:

1. Assistant Ambient Mode

Once upon a time, Google came up with a groundbreaking service called Google Now. It brought Google’s unique knowledge of both the world and our lives together to create a one-of-a-kind feed filled with genuinely helpful information — cards that were almost eerily catered to exactly what was relevant to any one of us at any given moment.

Google Now is one of the countless Google projects that got abandoned before its time, but Assistant has little by little picked up many of its lingering pieces — and now, it looks like Assistant could effectively bring a taste of Google Now onto screens everywhere.

A newly announced Google Assistant Ambient Mode delivers a Now-reminiscent info panel onto the displays of Android devices whenever they’re docked or charging. It’s kind of like an alternate version of what you see on a Smart Display — and it could truly transform the usefulness of an otherwise idle product.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.


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