August 2, 2021

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Google Assistant, Fi Expand Family-Oriented Features

2 min read

Google Assistant and Google Fi are getting a host of new family-oriented features. With the newly introduced Family Notes feature, users can create digital sticky notes in order to centralise chores and to-dos. The Family Bell feature will also be receiving new sound effects and suggested bells on smart speakers and Smart Displays. Google Assistant’s new feature will allow you to get updates on your family members’ whereabouts as well. Google Fi will also be rolling out new features over the next week, such as setting data budgets and an easy Family Link setup.

The tech giant announced the new features for Google Assistant and Google Fi through a blog post, saying that they were aimed at helping families stay connected and create healthy tech habits.

Users above 13 years of age can get updates on their family’s whereabouts with the help of Google Maps and Life360 location-based service. It can be used on Google Assistant-enabled devices such as Android and iOS phones, smart speakers, and Smart Displays. Children under 13 can also have a personalised Assistant experience when they log in their account via Family Link.

With Family Notes, digital sticky notes can be created by using commands such as “Hey Google, leave a Family Note that we’re out of toothpaste.” When you create a Family Note on a Smart Display at home, the note will be visible on all Smart Displays in the same home for 24 hours. After that, it will show up on your My Day page on your Smart Display. You can leave notes for roommates, family members, guests, or anyone at home. Later this year, a new ‘Family’ tab will be rolling out on Smart Displays that will help families quickly access different tools in one central place.

Google is bringing a new interactive story category on Smart Displays and phones. Google Assistant’s “Hey Google, tell me a story,” command can provide users with interactive stories that they can flip through. You can also use specific commands to try new learning activities on Smart Display.

Google said that within the coming weeks, it will add the ability in Family Bell to pause bells for a single day, too.

Meanwhile, Google Fi will also be receiving new features over the next week. You can block strangers from calling and texting your child by only allowing saved and recent contacts to reach them. You will also be able to manage data use through a data budget and access Family Link that can be used to establish digital ground rules such as content filters and limited screen time.

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