Google’s AI-powered speaker, called Home, is getting new features announced earlier today during the keynote address at the company’s annual conference for developers. Soon, Home owners will be able to stream songs from Apple Music and other apps running on their iPhone, iPad, Mac or Android device via Bluetooth.
And with hands-free calling, customers will be able ask Assistant running on the device to place calls to mobile phones or landlines in the US or Canada for free.
Even better, there’ll be no setup and no need for a phone or additional app.
Yet another upcoming enhancement, called visual responses, will let the smart speaker put responses to queries on a supported display, including your iPhone’s.
That’s right, you’ll be able to see Assistant answers on the biggest screen in your house, whether you’re asking “What’s on YouTube TV right now?” or “What’s on my calendar today?”
Getting visual responses from Home’s Assistant on a TV will be even easier with Chromecast.
Google is adding Bluetooth support to let Home users enjoy more music, movies and TV shows in apps running on Bluetooth-enabled smartphones, tablets and computers, like Apple Music.
Soundcloud, Deezer and Spotify’s free music offering are coming soon to Home as well. On the video front, they’ve already added Netflix, and have more partners on the way like HBO NOW, CBS All Access and HGTV.
Reminders, additional countries
You can now use your Home speaker to schedule new calendar appointments and create reminders (support for adding reminders is coming soon). “Since it’s the same Google Assistant across devices, you’ll be able to get a reminder at home or on the go,” said the firm.
Google provided this brief explanation for proactive notifications:
Conversations can take place in many different ways. Sometimes your Assistant should be the one to start it—so over the next few months, we’re bringing proactive notifications to Google Home.
Google Home is currently available in a few markets, but that’s about to change later this year as they expand it to new places, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Japan.
Hands-free calling, adding reminders, Bluetooth streaming and visual responses will all be enabled for Google Home users in the coming months via a free firmware update.
Google Home is powered by Google Assistant (now available as a dedicated iPhone app).
Speaking of Assistant, the AI-powered helper will be rolling out to eligible Android phones in Brazilian Portuguese, French, German and Japanese. By the end of the year, Assistant will support Italian, Korean and Spanish.
Starting today, developers can build conversational apps for the Google Assistant on phones. As a result, you’ll soon be able to not only get help and answers from Google, but also from third party services.
The company currently has 70+ smart home partners backing Assistant across Google Home, Android phones and iPhone, including August locks, TP-Link, Honeywell, Logitech and LG.