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Google Assistant gets Maps integration, flight check-ins, and more
Google has a relatively large presence at CES 2019, but up until this point, the company has been reasonably quiet. That changes now, though, as the search giant is adding a decent number of new Google Assistant features.
Google Maps integration
First up, the Google Assistant is now being integrated into Maps. Before, you could ask the Assistant to get directions to a location, and Maps would handle getting you directions. Now, you can ask the voice assistant to share your ETA with friends and family, respond to text messages (more on that below), play music and podcasts, and add pit-stops all with your voice.
The Assistant will be available within Google Maps on both Android and iOS.
Check into your flight
For some time now, Google has been able to identify hotel and flight confirmations as they come through your Gmail. Now, though, the Assistant will be able to check you into your flight and more.
Starting today, the Assistant will begin notifying you when you’re able to check in for a flight. Either through the prompt or by saying, “Hey Google, check in to my flight,” the Assistant will walk you through confirming all of the details. When complete, you will be greeted with your boarding pass.
Any itineraries and notes made about the trip can be stored in Google Keep, Any.do, Bring!, or Todoist directly through the Google Assistant.
And if you have your flight booked and now need a hotel, you can have the Assistant get you a room. Google has partnered with Choice Hotels, AccorHotels, InterContinental Hotels Group, Priceline, Expedia, Mirai and Travelclick, an Amadeus company to make the process as easy as ever.
The ability to check into flights is first coming to those flying domestic with United Airlines. More airlines should become available soon.
When you’re driving, there’s nothing worse for you and the people around you than using your smartphone. So that you don’t need to fumble with your device when receiving messages, the Google Assistant can now help you respond to people.
With today’s update, the Assistant will be compatible with SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger, Hangouts, Viber, Telegram, Android Messages, and more. Unfortunately for iOS users, these changes are only available for Android.
All of the Assistant’s new features listed above should be ready for you to try out later today.
Last but not least, Verizon introduced the HumX. This small accessory is similar to the JBL Link Drive and Anker Roav Bolt in that it packs Google Assistant inside. With it plugged in, you can ask the Assistant to pull your vehicle’s diagnostics.
Verizon previewed the HumX at CES 2019, but availability and pricing information haven’t been announced.