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Google Assistant feature update speeds up food orders, brings new Routines
- Google Assistant is receiving its Spring feature update this week.
- Assistant can now find your phone, streamline takeout orders, and more.
Google Assistant is getting ready for the change of season with a brief list of new features. Google promises the changes should help us accomplish small tasks around the house and car more effectively.
If you’re prone to misplacing your phone, you can now ask your Nest smart speaker or hub where it is. “Hey Google, find my phone” will now also work with iPhones. iPhone users will need to opt-in to receiving notifications and critical alerts from the Google Home app to enable the feature.
Once you’ve found your phone, you can now speed up food orders from it, too. Google Assistant can automatically complete payment and contact details for food orders from select restaurant chains in the US. Initiated by Google Duplex, the feature requires a food order to be placed via the Google app. Once complete, hitting “check out” initiates the payment and contact info autofill by Duplex from Chrome.
Improvements to Google Assistant Routines
Tweaks to Google Assistant Routines are also inbound. There are now “sunrise” and “sunset” events for Routines that initiate when the sun rises or falls in a specific location. You can use the sunset Routine to switch on your external smart lights or the sunrise Routine to play your favorite alarm track.
Assistant is also improving bundled Routine commands, which makes performing multiple tasks with a single prompt simpler. There’s also a new Ready-Made Routines section that suggests more popular actions to explore the feature. Finally, users can pin their favorite Routines to the home screen like any other app icon via the Google Home app.
Google is also turning Assistant into a valuable coronavirus information outlet. Users can garner vaccine information, vaccine site lists, and more COVID-19 related info directly from Assistant. Users can ask about specific vaccines or query which are available in their region. This comes as an addition to Assistant’s already established COVID-19 queries.
All the new features heading to Google Assistant will be rolling out to Android and iOS devices in the coming week.