* Interactive alerts and phone calls are key updates
* Calendar and streaming services to be improved
* No date set for changes to take effect
Google just announced some major updates that are coming to Google Home. No date has been set for when the new features will roll out, but it’s easy to see how Google is giving Amazon a run for its money when it comes to smart home technology.
1. Proactive Assistant
Google Home will soon notify users about traffic updates and flight delays for events and trips saved to your calendar. You’ll also be able to program reminders. The Verge predicts that the functions will be basic when first launched, to make sure people don’t get overloaded on notifications and stop using the feature. The alerts will also be subtle; Google Home’s light ring will silently spin. To get the alert, users must ask, ““OK Google, what’s up?”
2. Free Calls to the US and Canada
Hot on Amazon Echo’s heels, Google Home will introduce call capability. It edges out Amazon by dialing to actual landlines and mobile phones, whereas Echo can only make calls to other Echo devices. Google Home will be able to call anyone in your contacts from a private number. In multi-person households, voice recognition will detect whose contact list to use. Gizmodo notes that no additional set up is required for making calls from Google Home, and that the company did not specify whether it would be possible to hand off calls from Home to your phone.
3. Calendar and Reminders
The new Google Home will sync with your calendar to set reminders for appointments and important tasks.
4. More Entertainment Options
Moving forward, Google Home will work with more streaming services. For music, Spotify, Soundcloud and Deezer are at the top of the list. HBO and Hulu are now in the video lineup. Soon, Google Home will soon be able to stream anything over Bluetooth. There’s also a TV interface coming.