Google Assistant Has Just Got Smarter and More Conscious of Your Privacy

New upgrades mean a more helpful assistant. They also mean more care with your privacy
Google Assistant - hey google
Published: 11th Jan 2020
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By Rohan Tandon

Rohan is a passionate tech journalist with a degree in English literature. He's worked as a commissi Read More...

Google Assistant — like most voice assistants — continues getting smarter as the years roll by. For several years now, Google has been rolling out some seriously useful features and upgrades at CES.

 

It’s customary for Google to introduce new upgrades and features that make your life easier. However, in 2020, Google Assistant will also be a lot more mindful of your privacy than ever before. The new privacy upgrades have been introduced in light of a growing apprehension regarding smart devices’ ability to record and share private information.

In this article, we give you an overview of some of the greatest functional upgrades and privacy upgrades you can expect in Google Assistant 2020.

Functional Upgrades

Easy Integration

Setting up all of your smart home devices into the same network and ensuring they communicate with each other can be challenging for some. If you’ve recently purchased a wide array of smart home devices, Google Assistant will now make it easier than ever to integrate them.

Google has worked with several prominent smart home production companies to ensure that Google Assistant can now offer valuable tips, notifications, and suggestions on how to sync your devices.

Google Assistant can also import all your credentials into the Google Home app now, which means you don’t have to constantly enter your passwords and usernames. Google Assistant will seamlessly and automatically connect all your smart devices to the same network.

Scheduled Actions

With Google Assistant, you can now instruct various smart home devices to perform specific actions at specific times. You can now control their actions in advance by setting smart schedules rather than simply controlling them at the moment.

As of now, Google Assistant will only be able to support scheduled actions for about 20 devices, but the roster of smart devices is soon to grow. This feature is especially useful for devices like coffeemakers and air conditioners because you can now schedule actions using Google Assistant.

Household Notes

Do you often need reminders about day-to-day tasks but don’t have the patience to enter them manually into your reminder? Well, Google Assistant can now help you out with it.

If you have a Google smart display like the Nest Hub or Lenovo’s Smart Display, you can now use Google Assistant to add helpful sticky notes (called Household Notes) that will be displayed on the screen.

You can simply say, “Hey Google, leave a note,” and dictate the message. The note will appear on your smart display.

Speed Dial

Google Assistant can now also be used to enter phone numbers to your Google smart display’s speed dial. With a simple “Hey Google,” function, you can now leverage your smart display to call any emergency numbers.

This is especially useful if there’s an emergency and you can’t physically access your phone or dial a number.

Voice Reading

Google Assistant’s voice has also evolved — it’s now a lot more expressive and capable of identifying subtler narrative cues expressed through inflections of tone.

You can now ask Google Assistant to read out online content — be it an article from a website, an online short story, or even long-form content. You can simply say “Hey Google, read this page,” and it will narrate the contents of the page.

You can even translate and read the pages in 42 different languages. This is particularly useful for those who want to read an article while still being able to perform other tasks.

Privacy Upgrades

In recent months, there has been a growing apprehension about smart speakers’ ability to record your conversations to be analyzed by third-parties. To prevent that from occurring and put your mind at rest, Google has explicitly laid out its privacy upgrades.

The following are some of the most important Google Assistant privacy upgrades and clarifications:

  • Google Assistant doesn’t retain voice recordings — it only does so when you select the enhanced speech recognition option.
  • You can say “Hey Google, delete everything I said to you…”, to delete all the voice recordings of the day, week, month, or ever.
  • With the command “Hey Google, how do I keep my information private?”, you can go over all of Google privacy settings.
  • With the command “Hey Google, that wasnt for you”, you can instruct Google Assistant to forget and trash anything you may have said recently that wasn’t meant to be recorded.
  • You can also ask “Hey Google, are you saving my audio data?” to go through Google Assistant’s privacy settings on your phone and make any adjustments you need.

With all of the aforementioned changes and upgrades, Google Assistant (in 2020) will be a lot smarter and safer than ever before.

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