Sci-tech

Google Home upgrade: Your smart speaker is set for a colossal improvement

Google Home upgrade: Your smart speaker is set for a colossal improvement”

In the past, iOS users had to download Google Assistant separately from the app store - now, the voice assistant will be built in to an app that over 70% of smartphone owners use. Today, Google announced that the Assistant is coming to the Sonos One wireless speaker and Sonos Beam soundbar, which launched with Amazon Alexa. Google Assistant is doing most of the work. The feature is exactly what it sounds like - a way to get Google Assistant to translate a different language, making it easier to have a conversation with someone who may otherwise be impacted by the language barrier.

The feature is also one of the best reasons yet to invest in a smart display, like the Google Home Hub.

Building on Google translate, the Assistant will soon be able to translate in real time from 27 language choices. That set off a German-English discussion with Phillip Klimke, manager of strategic partnerships for Google Assistant, about finding tickets to a show.

Among the new Google Assistant devices that the search giant talks about in its official blog post, Lenovo's new Smart Clock is probably the most exciting. What's more, the Assistant will even auto-punctuate your messages now, so you don't have to dictate punctuation marks as well. Google notes that messaging features now work with SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger, Hangouts, Viber, Telegram, Android Messages and more.

Google expects its Assistant to be on one billion devices by the end of this month. This Smart Clock - unveiled at CES 2019 - comes with 4-inch touchscreen and will go on sale this Spring with a price-tag of $79 (roughly Rs. 5,500).

Google is also adding assistant support for Google Keep, Any.do, Bring and Todoist so that you can manage notes and lists using the virtual assistant. Soon, Google Assistant will allow you to check in to your flight, save and retrieve your boarding pass. Additionally, Google Assistant will also alert if your flight is ready for Web check-in. Assistant will also be able to give you notifications for things like check-in.

For example, "Hey Google, I'd like to book the Cambria Hotel in NY on January 12th". The ability to check into flights is rolling out for domestic United Airlines flights first, just like the hotel booking tool.



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