First up, Google is adding proactive assistance to the Google Home unit. You can sort of think of it as a notifications LED for your Google Home. Once its got an important tidbit of information, the lights on top of it will turn on to let you know it has something to say.
This information will be stuff relevant to you like your calendar information as well as the traffic to and from your appointment. When you see the light, just ask and the Google Assistant will talk to you. Google says they will start with core information like flight info, appointments, and traffic but will also allow users to control the type of proactive notifications you want over time.
Yes, you can now make phone calls with your Google Home without the need to key in numbers, search for contacts or any of that other tedious finger-fidgeting stuff. With this update, just ask Google Home to call someone and they’ll do it.
What’s more, Google also announced that users can call any mobile or landline number in the US and Canada for free — no additional phone required.Currently, only outgoing calls will be supported so there’s no way to call the Google Home speaker directly.
When making phone calls with Google Home, by default, the receiver will see a private number but users can pair their cellular numbers to the speaker so Google Home knows what number to display to the receiver. It will also support multiple numbers and multiple users. Google Home will determine which number to show depending on who’s asking for the call.
— Google (@Google) May 17, 2017
This feature will roll out in the US to all existing Google Home devices “in the next few months”.
More entertaining than ever
Google Home is supposed to sit in your house and take care of all your needs and those needs include entertainment. Today, Google announced that they will be adding a bunch more features to the device designed just for that.
The first would be related to music. Google Home will now be able to support the free version of Spotify in addition to Spotify premium. It’s also adding support for Soundcloud and Deezer so you have more options. If you want to pair your own phone to it, now you can because Google will also be rolling out Bluetooth support to the Google Home.
Over on the video front, Google added support for even more video platforms including HBO Now, Viki, Hulu, the CW and a whole bunch more.
Google Home can now communicate…visually
Remember how Google was pushing visual responses and conversations to the Assistant? Well, that’s extending to Google Home too because now you can get the device to show you information visually on the screen that’s most convenient to you.
That could mean your phone, your TV or whatever screen you have hooked up to Google Home. If you ask for a calendar update, you can also ask for directions and have Google Home send them to you. The best part is that you don’t have to tell the Assistant to send it to your phone, it will automatically know which is the best screen to send it to you on.
Google is also updating the Chromecast to be able to show visual responses on your TV as well. That way, you can ask for your calendar, weather, or whatever else you usually ask and have that information pop up on your TV for the full giant screen experience. It can even show you video suggestions on your TV from various streaming platforms like YouTube among others.
Google Home will also be launching in Canada, Australia, France, Germany, and Japan starting this summer.