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Google unveils the 'new Google Assistant' (Updated)
Update, October 15 2019 (4:07PM ET): We’ve updated this article to reflect the new Google Assistant announcements at the Made by Google 2019 event. Some of the new features include new Assistant privacy features, better contextual interactions on the Pixel 4 devices, and integration with the Pixel Buds 2 and Nest Wi-Fi Points.
At today’s Made by Google event, we saw Google announce some of its latest and greatest products. One of the things Google showcased was the redesigned and revamped Google Assistant. Google is calling this the “new Google Assistant,” and the event elaborated on much of what we already expected.
The new Assistant comes with a fresh coat of paint shown above and some new features that make it smarter and easier to use than ever. Here is how it will integrate with some of Google’s other products.
The New Google Assistant and the Pixel 4
Both Pixel 4 devices come with a whole bunch of new hardware, including radar in the front-facing sensors. On the software front, these handsets will rock the rebranded “new Google Assistant,” which will have all the powers of the “old” Assistant and then some.
The revamped and redesigned Google Assistant allows for easy voice multitasking on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. During the presentation, Google demonstrated how Assistant can pull up concert dates, share them in a message, and transcribe a note to go along with it.
This is pretty advanced and not something the current Assistant can do to this degree of efficiency. The seamless transition from one command to another without the need to say a hotword command is new to Pixel devices. If you use a Google Assistant-powered smart device, you’ll already know this as Continued Conversations, but this is a new thing on a smartphone.
This means the new Assistant can better understand all sorts of contextual commands. This makes tasks like searching through photos with your voice as easy as possible, demonstrated in one of the videos initially leaked by 9to5Google below.
Google also announced newly developed Assistant privacy features. Users can now ask Google Assistant to delete the data of all recorded actions they carried out using Google services after a designated amount of time. This gives users more control over their data than ever, and it is easily accessible through the new Assistant.
These new tricks — as well as the redesigned look of Assistant — are really cool. These new features will be available on the Google Pixel 4 before they slowly roll out to other Pixel devices and subsequently other smartphones from many different brands.
The Pixel Buds 2
Google finally unveiled the long-awaited follow-up to the Pixel Buds. The Pixel Buds 2 look promising, and they will come with the revamped Google Assistant baked in. This functionality effectively makes Google’s next-generation earbuds a Nest Mini you put in your ears.
The new Assistant-powered earbuds can provide navigation directions, send text messages, and translate other languages. These features were present on the last generation Pixel Buds, but the new Assistant promises a significantly better experience.
Google really only gave us a taste of what the intelligent software and machine learning are capable of on these devices. We’re awaiting more specifics on how the new Google Assistant could possibly come into play.
Nest Wi-Fi Points
Google also announced the new Nest Wi-Fi routers and Wi-Fi Points at the event. The Nest Wi-Fi Points are mesh network devices that increase Wi-Fi coverage throughout a house or building. What makes them particularly special is the inclusion of the new Google Assistant thanks to an integrated smart speaker. Users can do everything they can with a normal Google smart speaker directly on these new mesh network nodes.
You can also manage the Nest Wi-Fi router using voice commands. For instance, you can pause the Wi-Fi connection in a particular room or on a device using only your voice.
Google elegantly designed these devices so users won’t want to hide them in a closet or drawer like other routers and network extenders. The fact that they are also now essentially Nest Minis makes users even less likely to do so and adds a layer of functionality the competition can’t provide.
Although the old iteration of Google Assistant can already do many of the things announced today, the new innovations and integrations make it more compelling than ever.