The Ambient Mode From Google Assistant

On the 5th of September, 2019, at the IFA, Google announced about their new feature on the Google Assistant’s side. This feature is known as the Ambient Mode which turns any particular android phone into a smart display!

What does the Ambient Mode do?

With the Ambient Mode, when your device is docking or charging, your device will show calendar info, weather, notifications, reminders, music controls, and smart home controls. Also like the Nest Hub smart display, it will automatically show a slideshow from your Google Photos account.

Aside from devices with displays, Google Assistant has also arrived a slew of new audio accessories, from Sonos’ first truly portable Move speaker to new Sony headphones. Google Assistant is truly becoming the company’s most pervasive presence in our digital lives; which also means consumers should be more wary of what they consciously or unconsciously say in its presence.

Google is also touting more Android TV support for Assistant; plus more integrations with smart home products from the likes of Bosch, Siemens, Electrolux, and Nuki.


More Insight –

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Why is this not just the Nest Hub software?

There are many possible explanations:

  1. One explanation is that the software that powers the Nest Hub; and similar devices won’t run well on a full Android device. Thus far, we’ve seen devices based on Google’s Cast platform and Android Things but not full Android.
  2. It’s possible that this is part of a larger trend of Assistant taking over more features that used to be handled by other software that Google makes.
  3. Maybe somebody just missed a meeting, and nobody realized that these were two different projects entirely until it was too late to stop them.
  4. All of the above.

Availability of Ambient Mode –

Ambient Mode on Google Assistant will be available on the Lenovo Smart Tab M8 HD and Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab tablets when they are docked; and on the Nokia 7.2 and Nokia 6.2 smartphones when they are charging. It is currently unknown whether Ambient Mode will be rolling out to other Android smartphones, but we bet that it will.

The upcoming Google Pixel 4 appears to be the perfect candidate for Google to release further Assistant based functionality; and we were a little surprised to see the new Nokia releases be the first one to receive this feature.

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Navaneetha Suresh

Navaneetha Suresh

Navaneetha, commonly known as "nav", loves to read, play badminton, play the keyboard and sing but when she's not doing any of those, she loves to write. What started as a high school hobby to write is now her ongoing passion.

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