Google Home can control your smart products, entertainment, timers and much more, but new features are always welcomed. We are at Google I/O 2017, where the search giant has plenty of announcements to share; a few of them are all about their digital assistant speaker.

Google has just announced a few major features, as well as availability in new countries. Shall we dig right into the details?

Scheduling appointments and setting reminders

It’s crazy Google Assistant hasn’t been able to do this so far. Better late than never, right? Today Google Home is making it possible to schedule calendar appointments with your voice. And because it works through Google Assistant, this will work across all compatible devices. In addition, the team mentions reminders are also on the works and will be coming soon.

Proactive Assistance

This new feature is just what it sounds like РGoogle Home will give you time-sensitive notifications without request. This will be helpful for keeping track of meetings, traffic or flight statuses, among other things.

The idea is pretty basic, but Google assures us this project is in its early stages. Proactive Assistance will eventually do much more. Google simply wanted to get this right and avoid overloading people with notifications. This is why they made this feature rather subtle.

When Google Home wants to give you an alert, it won’t just start babbling about what you need to do. Instead, the lights over the device will start glowing. Then you can go ahead and ask “what’s up” to get the full rundown.

Hands-Free Calling

Want to make a call? You don’t even need to pull out your phone anymore. Simply tell Google Home to call a specific contact and it will take care of the rest. It’s also free for calling the USA and Canada. Funny part? It doesn’t really use your phone. Instead it uses its own calling services and sets your number as private. You can link it to your number, but that seems to be only for Caller ID purposes. Hit the link below for all the details!

Favorite Entertainment

This is not really a new feature, but Google did announce more support from entertainment services. Spotify, SoundCloud and Deezer are adding support for Google Home. Don’t want to stream? You can now also connect any device via Bluetooth, a highly requested feature that should have been here a long time ago.

Google also swears they are working hard to bring more companies on board. Among the upcoming participants are HBO Now, CBS All Access and HGTV.

Visual Responses

A picture says a thousand words, right? Sometimes a speaker simply won’t cut it, and that is when Visual Responses will come into play. The concept is simple, Google Home can send visual content to your TV (via Chromecast), smartphone or tablet.

Examples? Picture yourself talking to Google Home about your way to work. You have asked for traffic information and are ready to take off. Just tell Google Home to give you driving directions and Google Assistant will send the route to your phone. Ask for the weather and all the details could be displayed on your TV. You can also see what’s on YouTube, as well as other supported apps.

Availability

Bummed about not being able to get Google Home? Don’t worry, the device is spreading across the world and today Google is telling us it is coming to a new set of countries. Here they are!

  • UK
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Japan

Wrapping up

Which of these features are you most excited about? I like the Hands-Free Calling feature, but wonder how things will work when trying to call countries other than the USA and Canada. Hit the comments to share your 2 cents!

For more Google I/O 2017 content follow our dedicated page. There is plenty to look at!

Edgar Cervantes

Edgar Cervantes has over 5 years of experience in tech journalism. Exploring the latest gadgets and constantly studying the industry are part of is daily drive.