(Pocket-lint) – An update has added a raft of new features to Google Assistant, including the ability to find a user’s phone and provide improved Routines.
The latest update, which is now rolling out to both smartphones and smart home devices with Google Assistant, means that users can now find both lost Android and iPhone handsets.
By simply saying, “Hey Google, find my phone” to a Google Nest speaker or display, the Assistant is able to pinpoint the device, send a notification and trigger a custom ringing tone – even if the device is on ‘Do Not Disturb’.
Just note that for the feature to work on iPhone, users will need to have notifications and ‘Critical Alerts’ turned on for the Google Home app.
It’s not the only way Google Assistant is improving for at-home devices, either. Routines are being bolstered considerably, with both sunrise and sunset automation now available globally. Within the Google Home app, users can now set, as an example, set a specific smart light and a smart blind action to kick in when the Assistant recognises the sun has set.
These Routines can now be added to the Android home screen, with the app also suggesting what Google is calling ‘Ready-Made Routines’. Essentially, these are just recommendations that include phrases such as, ‘Tell me if my battery is low,’ or ‘What happened today in history’.
In a final incremental upgrade, Google Duplex – the technology powering a feature that allows Google’s AI to make phone calls – is also getting better at navigating online food orders.
Users are now able to search for a partnered restaurant through the Google App (on Android) and have the process largely taken care of by Assistant.
By selecting ‘Order Online’, placing an order and checking out, the smart assistant is able to automatically navigate the site, fill in contact and payment details (saved within Google Pay and Chrome Autofill) and complete the process.
Google indicates that the improvements will be live across participating restaurants later this year in the US, though the other aspects of the update detailed above should be coming to smartphones and Google Nest devices soon.
The only thing that isn’t clear at this stage is whether third-party Google Assistant speakers and displays will be able to access the new features, as only Google Nest devices are specified. We’ll update this story if we receive word.
Writing by Conor Allison.