Google has announced a handful of new family-friendly features coming to Google Assistant — just in time for Mother’s Day. The new features are arriving now and include improved broadcasts, new family bells, and new stories for kids.
One of the more interesting new features expands on Google Assistant’s Broadcasts, and now lets users ping family members wherever they are — even on a mobile device. The feature is available through Family Broadcast, and will display messages on all smart speakers, smart displays, and mobile phones, including iPhones. Mobile users can then reply to a broadcasted message via voice.
Google Assistant is also introducing two new Family Bell reminders that will remind users to water the plants and tidy up the house. Apparently, Family Bell reminders are becoming really popular among households.
“Since last summer, more than 20 million Family Bells have been run to help families stay organized — that’s nearly 19 years worth of bells!” said Lilian Rincon, Senior Director of Product Management, Google Assistant. Rincon added that going forward users can stop a bell by simply saying “stop.” Bells will also ring across multiple home devices at once, rather than just on one smart speaker or display.
Additionally, over the coming weeks, Google will roll out Family Bell to eight new languages, including Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Finally, Google Assistant is getting new stories and games that can be accessed from a smart display or Android device. Google will partner with Pottermore Publishing to bring Wizarding World stories to users. Beginning this weekend, fans can learn more about Quidditch from the Harry Potter stories by saying “Hey Google, tell me a Quidditch Story.” Google is also adding the “Who Was” series to smart displays, along with new Easter Eggs and songs that will help kids stay on task while doing chores.