More Google Assistant features coming to Wear OS soon

The Google Assistant can now connect with more than 5,000 devices for your home- up from 1,500 this January Google has announced

The Google Assistant can now connect with more than 5,000 devices for your home- up from 1,500 this January Google has announced

The biggest user-facing development is the addition of smart suggestions in Google Assistant. Once you ask a question and Assistant answers, you'll get suggestions to further the conversation with a single tap. We'll find out more about what else Wear OS by Google has in store at I/O next week. For example, there are new smart suggestions prompted by the Google Assistant, which will surface when users ask questions.

Google's catching up. In 2018 eMarketer estimates 29.4% of smart speaker users will be talking to a Google Home, but expects that figure to grow to 33% by 2020. The new, simplified voice commands will let you go directly to your favorite channels, control volume, or pause a show.

Meanwhile, Assistant will now begin speaking replies when relevant through either a paired Bluetooth headset or the built-in watch speaker. There's nothing mentioned about headphones connected via the USB port, but we'll know soon enough. While Google didn't provide details on exactly when Assistant will be able speak, the announcement post lists at-least one example: when you ask "tell me about my day". The new features are set to be rolled out in the coming days through a firmware update to compatible Wear OS watches.

Google Assistant is now powered with over one million
Google on a smartphone device Pixabay

Millions of people already have access to the Assistant on smart TVs powered by Android TV, and we're still seeing tremendous growth.

Alexa includes one pre-built routine - Start my day - to get you started, which will report the weather and play the news from your flash briefing by default. Google says it's also working with more partners to bake Assistant directly into more smart TVs.

That's impressive, but Google Assistant still trails Alexa from a compatibility perspective: By some estimates, Alexa is compatible with over 11,000 smart devices, more than double the count of Google Assistant.

Iowa statehouse passes through fetal heartbeat bill
The bill will now go to Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds' desk. "This bill says it's time to change the way we think about unborn life". The Iowa legislation has some exemptions, such as in the case of rape or incest or if a woman's life is at risk.

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