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Google reveals Ambient Mode in action, supported devices
Google announced Ambient Mode at IFA 2019, bringing smart display-style functionality to your phone or tablet’s always-on display when it’s charging.
Now, the Mountain View company has uploaded a video to YouTube (seen above), showing off the feature in action on a smartphone. Plug a charging cable into your phone and you’ll get a different take on the always-on display, showing reminders, commute information, and charging details.
Other elements spotted in Ambient Mode include controls for Do Not Disturb, smart home toggles, your next alarm, notifications, upcoming flights, weather, missed calls, and photo slideshows.
Google’s video reveals that Assistant’s Ambient Mode is coming to Android 8.0 devices and above. But the company told Ars Technica‘s Ron Amadeo and confirmed to Android Authority via email that it actually requires Android 8.1 and the newest version of the Search app. The search giant adds that it will be rolling out to most users next week.
We previously reported that the mode was coming to the Nokia 7.2, Nokia 6.2, the Lenovo Smart Tab M8 HD, and Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab. But Google has since clarified that Ambient Mode is coming first to Sony, Nokia, Xiaomi, and Transsion (parent company of Tecno, Infinix, and Itel) devices, as well as the aforementioned Lenovo devices. The mode kicks in on the Lenovo Smart Tab M8 HD when placed in its charging station, and kicks in on the Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab when you pop out its kickstand.
“The feature will be available anywhere on these devices where Voice Match is supported,” a Google representative told us. But what about Ambient Mode support for the Pixel series?
“This feature is NOT (sic) available for Pixel devices at launch, but we’re looking to add support sometime soon,” the representative answered. This is a little disappointing for Pixel owners, especially as they’re accustomed to receiving features first. But hopefully they don’t have to wait too long to receive this mode.