Google Lens in Assistant now rolling out to Pixel phones

Google Pixel owners, your phone is about to learn a nifty new trick.

Google says that Google Lens is now rolling out to all Pixel phones. It’s hitting Pixels set to English in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, India, and Singapore over the coming weeks. Once it’s on your Pixel, you’ll be able to access Google Lens by tapping the icon in the lower right corner of Google Assistant.

Google Lens is useful for learning more about the world around you. Lens can identify landmarks and tell you about their history, scan movie posters and show you trailers and reviews, and scan books to give you reviews and a synopsis. You can also do things like scan a painting to learn more about the artist.

Lens is good for quickly getting information onto your phone, too. It can save information from business cards, look up products by barcode, and scan QR codes, as well as add events like a movie release date to your calendar.

Google Lens is an attractive feature for a couple of reasons. Not only can it help you to learn things around you that you don’t know about, like a landmark you’ve never seen before, but it can likely look up information faster than you could if you were typing it in. Rather than typing the info from a business card into your contacts or searching for the name and author of a book, you can use Lens to quickly scan all of those details.

Once Google Lens hits your Pixel phone, be sure to let us know what you think of it!

Google Home finally supports multiple calendars

Google has been telling us for a couple of years now that it’s moving from a mobile first to an AI first strategy, and Google Assistant is at the center of that strategy. You can see it pop up in real-world examples in everything from Assistant in third-party headphones and speakers to the squeeze gesture on this year’s Pixel 2.

There have been some gaps in its functionality in the past, however. Up until a few weeks ago, asking your phone and your Google Home “What song is playing?” would give you different answers. That can be very frustrating.

See also
Another glaring hole has been multiple calendar support within Assistant on Google Home devices. In the past, users have only had access to the calendar associated with their Google account on Google Home.

Thankfully, that’s changing. Google Home is finally gaining support for multiple calendars.

You can check to see if you have multiple calendar support by opening the Google Home app, then tapping More settings under the Google Assistant tab. Scroll down to the bottom until you see Calendar. Then, you’ll be able to add or remove any calendars you’d like associated with your Google Home. Easy.

Adding in support for multiple calendars might not seem like a huge update, but it will allow more users to fit Assistant into their lives with ease.

Next: What is Google Assistant? How do you use it?

GE’s C-Reach hub adds Google Assistant and Alexa support to its budget smart lights

Buying a set of budget smart lights is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to smarten up your dumb home. IKEA recently jumped into the market with its TRÅDFRI range, but GE’s C-series bulbs have been around for much longer.

Now, GE is upgrading its low-cost smart lighting range with the release of the C-Reach – a hub that lets users control their lighting setup with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa voice commands.

The hub is priced at $50 as a standalone purchase. It’s also available as a bundle with two white light-only C-Life bulbs for $65, or $85 with two color-changing “Sleep” bulbs. If you can wait a few days, the two sets will be discounted on Cyber Monday, with the C-Life pack selling for $50 and the “Sleep” set down to $65.

Even with the discounts, adding the C-Reach into the equation significantly bumps up the price of GE’s budget bulbs, but it does make them far smarter.

Read: What is Google Assistant? How can you use it?

On their own, the C-series lights are restricted to Bluetooth connectivity which restricts them to simple, localized commands via your phone. The C-Reach hub, meanwhile, adds Wi-Fi support, which lets you turn your lights on or off from anywhere in the world.

The hub also supports voice commands from any Assistant or Alexa-enabled devices, such as a Home or Echo smart speaker or any phone with Assistant. GE has also promised to add support for Apple’s HomeKit in the first quarter of 2018 (via The Verge).

Will you be picking up a pack of smart lights on Black Friday/Cyber Monday? Let us know in the comments, or head over to Amazon using the button below to buy a C-Reach hub now.

Google Home is Finally Getting Support for Multiple Calendars

Google Home and the Google Assistant have a big advantage for certain features when compared to the competition. This is why so many users were frustrated that Google Home had yet to add support for managing calendars directly with your voice. This has finally changed though as multiple people are now spotting a new Calendar section within the Google application. With it, you can manage which calendars you want supported by the Google Assistant and which calendar you want set as your default.

Some of the more recent application teardowns have revealed that Google had begun work on adding calendar support to the Google Assistant. Features discovered in application teardowns aren’t something that always make it to the public, but they do a great job at letting you know what the developer is working on. As people have been begging for calendar support for Google Assistant, this was great news to hear and made a lot of people wonder how long they would have to wait to receive the feature.

We’re now seeing this new Calendar section at the very bottom of the Google Assistant settings section within the Google application. To access it, you need to launch the Google application, tap the hamburger menu icon at the top left and then tap settings. From here, you’ll see a dedicated Google Assistant section at the top and within this section is another settings option. Tapping the settings option from here gives you a list of features supported and the very last option listed in the services section should be for the calendar.

This page will show you a list of all your currently available calendars and you can simply enable or disable these directly from this application. You also have the ability to select which calendar you want as your default, but it’s not like the feature we just mentioned and it instead lets you choose a different account that has been added to your Android device. Then the last section is for the application to list which other devices your calendars are available on.