Google is giving news a major revamp on Assistant-enabled devices like its Google Home speakers and Smart Displays. Initially rolling out in the United States, the update will enable users to request news on specific topics.
For example, you can ask “What’s the latest on NASA?” or “What’s the news on the women’s national soccer team?” If you have a Home speaker, Assistant will read from relevant articles, while Smart Displays will make it easier to discover YouTube videos on the requested topic.
In a blog post, Google is touting the ability to get news on the Tour de France, Star Wars, fashion, hip-hop, healthcare, Chicago, fitness, golf, bitcoin, Yosemite and education. Essentially, what it’s saying is you can ask for news about anything.
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Previously, Google Home owners could ask “What’s the news?” And receive generalised bulletins from the likes of BBC, CNN and the Wall Street Journal. However, the Google News revamp announced at I/O has enabled the company to expand the operation somewhat.
In the post on Thursday, Google writes: When you want to go deeper or learn more about a specific topic, ask the Assistant: “What’s the news on the women’s national soccer team?” or “What’s the latest on NASA?” The Google Assistant will find relevant videos from YouTube to play on your Smart Display, and on Assistant speakers like Google Home, it will read out excerpts from news articles from a growing list of publishers.”
On the Smart Displays, such as Lenovo’s recently-released offering, users will be able to choose preferred sources from local and national broadcasters and say: “Hey Google, what’s the news?” for video bulletins.
The update to Google News on Assistant comes to battle Alexa’s Flash Briefings on Amazon. Alexa users are able to choose briefings from a number of their favourite sources, meaning more eclectic news.
The company is encouraging folks to stay tuned for news of a global rollout.
Have you tried the new Google News features on the Home speaker? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.