The upcoming Google Pixel 4 is going to come with a whole bunch of new hardware — including radar in the front-facing sensors — but there will be new software as well. The most high-profile tweak will be the so-called “new Google Assistant,” which will have all the powers of the “old” Assistant and then some.
Thanks to a leak over at 9to5Google, we have some new promotional videos that give us an idea of just how powerful the updated Assistant will be.
To be clear, we aren’t calling it “new Google Assistant” for fun: according to 9to5Google, that is how Google will promote the rebranded and expanded version of its AI software.
Check out the first video below:
In the video, there are two examples of people using voice commands to control aspects of their phones. In the first half, a pair of people who appear to be late ask Assistant where the nearest metro station is. After getting the directions they need, they then ask Google to send a text to their friend to let them know they are on the way.
In the second half, another person arrives at a secluded area on a lake and asks Assistant to turn on Do Not Disturb mode, which it does seamlessly.
Although the current iteration of Google Assistant can already do the things shown in this video, it gives you a view of how different the new Google Assistant looks. It is much simpler and has a colorful bar at the bottom that moves along with different functions of the software.
Here’s another video:
In this one, a user gets a text from a friend asking when their flight lands. The user asks Assistant a pretty vague question: “What time is my flight?” Assistant pulls up the information without even needing to switch apps. Then, without saying “OK Google” again, the user says another vague command: “Reply I get in at 5:14 PM.” Because Assistant can understand the context of that query (responding to the text that started the whole process), it knows what to do.
This is pretty advanced and not something the current Assistant can do, at least to this degree of efficiency. The seamless transition from one command to another without needing to say a hotword command is also new. If you use a Google Assistant-powered smart device, you’ll already know this as Continued Conversations, but this is a new thing on a smartphone.
Finally, here’s the third video:
In this one, a user gives a fairly vague command: “Show me my photos from last weekend.” This requires Assistant to know what “last weekend” means as well as what action to do when the user says “show me my photos.” In the example, Assistant opens Google Photos (it’s not clear if this could be altered to open a different gallery app) and shows the user’s photos from the previous weekend.
After performing this trick, the user ups the ante by saying — once again, without invoking “Hey Google” first — “Show me the ones with a dog.” Assistant then only shows the users photos that feature a dog from that past weekend.
These new tricks — as well as the redesigned look of Assistant — are really cool. It is likely these new features will be available on the Google Pixel 4 first before slowly rolling out to other Pixel devices and subsequently other smartphones from many different brands.
What do you think? Would you invest in a Pixel 4 just to get these features, or are you content to wait until they make their way to your current phone? Let us know in the comments.
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October 2, 2019 at 11:16AM