Google adds Family Broadcast to Google Assistant and expands Family Bell


Google Assistant, it’s probably the best voice assistant in use today. The reason it’s so good is that it pulls its information from Google Search as well as your personal Google profile. So it knows you really well. This is something many people either find useful or creepy.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Whatever your feelings about Google Assistant today, Google announced Family Broadcast, expanded on Family Bell, and added some new games. So let’s dive in and see what new things Google Assistant can do for you.

Family Broadcast

Google Assistant Family Broadcast
Google Assistant Family Broadcast

We’re extending one of our most popular Google Assistant features, Broadcast, so you can reach your family wherever they are, and they can respond from any device including from their phones. With Family Broadcast, when I get home from my Saturday afternoon run, I can broadcast to my newly created Google Family Group, “Hey Google, tell my family, how about dinner at seven” across all our smart speakers and displays.

The message will even reach my husband on his iPhone (or Android device) while he’s on the way home, letting him reply by voice or by tapping the “reply” button, “Hey Google, reply ‘sounds good, stopping by grandma’s house. See you in 15 minutes.”


Family Bell

Two new Family Bell reminders I plan to set this weekend will remind me to water the plants (which I love, but often forget to do) as well as alert my kids to tidy up the house. It’s becoming a very popular feature. Since last summer, more than 20 million Family Bells have been rung to help families stay organized – that’s nearly 19 years’ worth of bells! As a quick hint, you’ll soon be able to just say “stop” to end the bell, starting in English. No need to use “Hey Google” again, just like with alarm and timers.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be expanding Google Assistant Family Bell to eight new languages, including French, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, German, Hindi, and Korean. Another highly requested feature we’re rolling out today is the ability to have Family Bells ring across multiple home devices at one time (not just one smart speaker or display).


Google Assistant Gets New Stories For Kids

Google Assistant is getting new stories and games that you can access from a smart display or Android device — this weekend, we plan to learn more about Quidditch from the Harry Potter stories with a simple “Hey Google, tell me a Quidditch Story.” We’ll be partnering with Pottermore Publishing to bring more stories later in the year, so stay tuned for more Wizarding WorldTM news.

We’re also bringing the “Who Was?” series from Penguin Random House to your smart display. Just say “Hey Google, talk to Who Was Heroes’” and listen to stories about Ida B. Wells, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and over 100 others. To get a full list of all the stories that are available, simply say “Hey Google, tell me a story.” (With a parent’s permission, children under 13, or the applicable age in their country, can have a personalized Google Assistant experience and access these games designed for kids and families, powered by Family Link.)

Google Assistant
The Clean Up Song

New Games and Easter Eggs

My husband and I love trivia and will play this popular game show “Hey Google, talk to ‘Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?’” on our Nest Hub. You can even win (pretend) money!

We had to add a few easter eggs too. Try using a timer on Mother’s Day and see what happens!  

Since the handwashing song was so popular, we created new ones to help kids stay on task and do their chores. Try “Hey Google, Sing the cleanup song,” “Hey Google, Sing the go to sleep song” or “Hey Google, Sing the brush your teeth song.”


What do you think of these new Google Assistant features? Do you like or dislike Google Assistant? Let us know what you think on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network or commenting on our other social media pages.


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