Google Now is so yesterday, since there is now Google Assistant.
Last week Google held its Developer Conference, Google IO, in Mountain View, California. While no new products were released to coincide with the conference, Google showed a number of products that will be coming out this summer and others later on.
There were a few items that hopefully will make family life a bit easier.
Google Now, Google’s interface for talking to your Android or iPhone, is now called Google Assistant. You can now carry on a conversation with Assistant more than in the past.
In the keynote speech, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai asked, “What’s showing nearby” and was shown a list of movies. He said: “We want to take the kids” and the list was amended to show only family-friendly films.
The Assistant asked, “Would you like tickets to any of these?” and he answered, “Jungle Book.” The app bought tickets online and had them waiting at the theater.
You can ask Assistant, “Who is Brad Pitt?” and it answers verbally and shows pertinent web pages, like his entry in Wikipedia and IMDB.com. If asked, “How old is he?” it knows I meant Brad Pitt. I didn’t have to repeat the name. Google understood I meant the person I’d last asked about and answered correctly.
Google Assistant learns about you as you use it. Plus, if you use other Google services like Gmail, Calendar and the like, it knows what is in them. And, if you have location tracking turned on, it knows the routes you take to work. While that might bother some people, you get benefits from Google knowing so much about you.
Google also announced a new hardware product, Google Home, its version of Amazon’s Echo. Both products are small devices that sit in your home and listen for you to call to them.
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