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Updates to Google Assistant keep the family connected this holiday season

Google Assistant is making it easier to stay connected with the family

What you need to know

  • Google is rolling out a number of family features for its smart displays and speakers.
  • Some features are rolling out now, while others will be available soon.
  • Google Fi is also adding some new features to better keep track of family usage and safety.

As the holidays roll around, Google has been on a roll launching new features to its services that focus on the safety and well-being of its users. The company recently announced a number of different features to ensure users are well-informed holiday travel. Today, Google is adding new features to Nest Hub smart speakers and Google Assistant to help keep track of family members during the holidays.

One feature that is now rolling out is called Family Notes. With this, users can create digital sticky notes with helpful reminders for the family. And once a note is created, it'll collect on the home screen with any other family notes. In addition, Google is adding new features to Family Bell, which plays announcements for the family throughout the house. Now there are new sounds and even suggested bells, and users will soon have the ability to take a break from certain bells by pausing any of them for a single day.

Google is highlighting its kid-friendly features by noting that users can ask Google for suggestions for family activities. There are a number of learning activities for users to choose from on their smart display, including kid-friendly content with daily creative challenges and interactive stories. Kids under 13 can also have their own personalized experience when logged into a smart speaker using Family Link, of course given a parent's permission.

Google Nest Hub Family Tab

And for kids 13 and older, Google has partnered with Life360 to enable family tracking with Google Maps. Users can ask where the family is or specify with a single member of family to track their whereabouts. And soon this, as well as all the family-related features, will come together in a new centralized hub under the "Family" tab (above), which will roll out soon.

Lastly, Google Fi is rolling out new family features that will come at no additional cost to users. This includes a management tool to help budget the amount of data the kids use, Family Link features to filter kids' content and review downloaded apps, and safety features that limit who can call and text the young ones to only saved contacts, for example.

Some of these features are currently rolling out on Google Assistant smart speakers and displays, while others will be available soon, so be on the lookout!

Smaller Packages

Google Nest Hub

$90 at Best Buy

A small screen with big features.

The Google Nest Hub may not be as large as the Nest Hub Max, or have a camera for video calls, but this smart display can do nearly everything its big brother can, and still sounds great! A perfect bedroom companion.



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