One of the highlight features of Google’s Pixel Buds is its ability to translate conversations in real-time. After first bringing this to all Google Assistant headphones, the search giant is now bringing that feature to Google Homes and Smart Displays and is calling it Interpreter Mode.
After asking one of the Assistant-powered devices, “Hey Google, be my French interpreter,” it will aid you in communicating with someone in a different language. While it will be only audio with Home speakers, the translations will appear as text on Smart Displays.
Google sees this new mode being incredibly helpful at hotels and other tourist locations, allowing foreigners to hold a conversation with locals.
Interpreter Mode will be rolling out to Homes and Smart Displays in the coming weeks. If you want to try it out right now, Google is piloting the feature at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas’ concierge desk, at the Hyatt in San Francisco, and the Dream Downtown in New York City.
Assistant on the lockscreen
If you choose to enable it, you can have the Google Assistant on your phone always listening for its hotphrase. If your handset is locked, though, you have to unlock it before the Assistant responds to you. That’s changing today.
Once the feature is pushed out, users will be able to opt into a setting that allows the Assistant to bypass the lockscreen. By doing this, the Google Assistant will be able to provide you with search results, set up alarms and timers, and more without you needing to ever touch your phone.
Google is also adding a second option that will allow the Assistant to provide you with personal results from the lockscreen. These would be results such as calendar appointments, travel details, and more.
This option should be rolling out to Pixel users starting today. Other Android devices will gain this feature in the next couple of weeks.
Assistant on thousands of devices, including Dish Hoppers
Part way through 2018, Dish announced that users would be able to control some of the company’s network boxes using the Google Assistant. Today, Google has announced that Dish’s Hopper family of receivers will get Assistant built-in.
What this means is that if you own a Hopper, you can use it to control smart home appliances, check the weather, and, of course, control the Dish box.
This news was announced alongside that the Assistant now works with over 1,600 home automation brands and on more than 10,000 devices. This number is quite impressive, but it won’t stop here. At CES 2019 alone, so many various devices were launched with Assistant-compatibility. The number of products with Assistant support will likely only continue to grow.