Holiday Season is upon us and Google is dishing out the presents… to its own services. The company has decked out Google Assistant with some new features that will help users through the holidays. In a blog post, Mountain View highlighted some of the new functionality for its digital assistant and the Google Home smart speaker.
At its I/O developer conference earlier this year, Google showcased a Google Assistant feature called Pretty Please. This week, the company has launched the ability ahead of the Holiday Season. Pretty Please is designed to promote polite speech and can be used as a tool for children.
When a child (or indeed anyone) interacts with Google Assistant using polit phrases such as “please” and “thank you”, the virtual assistant now offers rewards. Those rewards are a polite return in its own words.
Google Assistant is also gaining a task management service that allows users to manage gift lists with their voice. In the blog, Google says it will expand this feature to other services. Among them will be its own Google Keep, Any.do, Bring!, and Todoist. Unfortunately, Microsoft's attention grabbing To Do is not included.
Google has also introduced some holiday-spirited features for Google Home, its smart speaker devices. Google Play Music now has a karaoke mode for select songs for users with a Smart Display. As you'd expect, this feature places song lyrics on the screen for users to sing along, so get Jingle Bells ready.
Smart Displays now also support a broadcasting tool when the user is out of the house. For example, you can send a message to smart devices to check if you need anything else off the list.
Back to Google Assistant, the virtual tool will now read along with Christmas stories with sound effects and music. Google says the assistant can read stories on its own, but only for over 50 books.