The new features for Google Assistant were announced through a blog post on Thursday, May 6. Google has announced that the new features are rolling out just in time for Mother’s Day 2021 that falls on Sunday, May 9.
Among the notable updates to Google Assistant is the enhanced Broadcast feature. Users will now be able to broadcast a message to all members across devices (Google Home and Nest devices, smartphones, etc.) by creating a Google Family Group. Even members in the group who use an Assistant-enabled iOS device will also be able to receive and reply to the broadcast.
Google is also improving its Family Bell function. The function was introduced in August last year and currently supports commands in English. Users can use this feature to set reminders for one or more members of the family, or set alarms for activities like ‘recess’, ‘nap time’, and ‘math time”. This feature will soon be able to take commands in Hindi, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish. Alongside, Family Bell can now send notifications on multiple devices in a household.
Assistant can also now help reciting stories for the kids at bedtime that can be accessed through any smart display or an Android device. Users will be able to access any story available on Google’s library. Google is partnering up with Pottermore Publishing and Penguin Random House to bring “Harry Potter” and “Who Was?” stories to Google Assistant. Parents can set up an account for their kids to monitor the content they consume. Alongside, Google will also let users play games like “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?” on the Nest Hub.
Last year, Google introduced the handwashing song and doodle in the honor of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis. The song and doodle highlighted the importance of washing hands properly, which has now become extremely important in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, Google is introducing three new songs to motivate kids in helping with chores around the house. Users can command the Assistant with “Hey Google, Sing the clean up song,” or “Hey Google, Sing the go to sleep song,” or “Hey Google, Sing the brush your teeth song” for some entertainment to break the monotony.