Google Assistant Just Got a Useful Update With Four Helpful Features

Illustration for article titled Google Assistant Just Got a Useful Update With Four Helpful Features
Photo: Google

Four new upgrades coming to Google Assistant will help you track down your phone, order takeout faster, and even discover new automated routines.

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With so many people stuck at home, laptops and desktops have become our primary devices again, which means phones get lost or misplaced a bit more often. However, thanks to a new upgrade, users with a Nest speaker or Nest smart display can simply say, “Hey Google, find my phone,” to get help locating their device. The command works for both iPhones and Android handsets, though iPhone owners will need to opt in first in order to receive the special alerts and sounds sent out by the Google Assistant.

Gif: Google

And for those who don’t feel like cooking, Google is also expanding support for Duplex on the web, allowing you to more easily check out ordering pickup or delivery.

Now, when you use the Google app on Android to order online, at checkout the Google Assistant will automatically fill in your payment info using credentials previously saved in Google Pay or Chrome’s Autofill section. At the very least, the Google Assistant should help you avoid an extra minute or two spent filling in your credit card info, which is already the most annoying part about ordering food, especially when you’re hungry.

Finally, for those looking to automate more things in their home, Google is now rolling out global support for sunrise and sunset routines, so you can more easily trigger actions like your lights turning on at night or setting your heat or A/C to kick on in the morning.

If you need help figuring out more things to set up or automate, Google is adding a new section in the Google Home app for Ready-Made Routines that will showcase popular or suggested actions that might work for your setup. And when you do come up with a new routine to install, there’s even a handy feature for Android phones that can add a shortcut to your new routine to your phone’s home screen.

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Illustration for article titled Google Assistant Just Got a Useful Update With Four Helpful Features
Image: Google

All in all, while these aren’t exactly game-changing updates to the Google Assistant, it’s nice to see Google’s AI help continue to get regular updates, especially when they can help reduce some of the monotony of everyday life.

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Senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.

DISCUSSION

ImALeafOnTheWind
ImALeafOnTheWind

Is the Find My Phone via Nest aware of who’s invoking it and smart enough to apply the right profile like with calendars? Would like to know that it’s not gonna keep pinging my phone as the main account when my kids discover this and try to use it to find their devices.