Google has had voice search features in Android for years, but when Google Assistant rolled out on the Pixel in October 2016, everything finally came together. You can now get Assistant on all modern Android devices, and Google is constantly improving the platform with new features.

It can be easy to miss the improvements if you don’t obsessively keep an eye on the news, so here they are in one place: the 12 coolest new features in Google Assistant.

Sync connected smart home devices

google assistant sync devices Ryan Whitwam/IDG

Google Assistant supports numerous smart home devices, but you might notice that devices you’ve just added to your account don’t always work right away. That’s because Assistant isn’t constantly scanning for new connections. You can give it a kickstart.

After adding a new smart home device like a camera or thermostat, open up Assistant and say, “Sync my devices.” Assistant tells you it’s syncing with your connected accounts, and a few seconds later any newly added devices will appear in your list. Make sure to add them to rooms in Assistant for full functionality.

Send daily info

google assistant send daily Ryan Whitwam/IDG

Assistant is great for calling up little tidbits like the weather, stock quotes, or even jokes. You don’t even have to ask every time, though. You can have Assistant proactively send you certain bits of information as a daily update.

To configure a daily update, start by asking your question normally—ask it for the weather, a dad joke, whatever. After Assistant pulls up the content, you can follow up with “Send this to me daily.” Assistant asks what time you want the update, and you’re all set. To change or cancel a daily update, just say, “See my subscriptions.”

Have Assistant remember things for you

google assistant remember Ryan Whitwam/IDG

Your squishy human brain is fallible, but Google Assistant can remember things without fail. All you have to do is ask it. You can tell Assistant to remember things just by saying “Remember that [some piece of information].” You could tell Google to remember where you parked, what you did with the spare house key, your high score in Tetris, or anything else. As a handy bonus, Assistant also saves maps when you tell it where you parked.

Later, you can ask Google to recall the information in various ways. You can be direct, like asking Assistant “Where did I park?” You can recall factoids you’ve saved with “What did I say about [x]?” or “Remind me about [x].”





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