You can now ask Google Assistant to show YouTube video results before casting

The Google Assistant is smart, and it’s only getting smarter with every update. It can do a lot for you, from setting alarms to rolling a magic 8 ball to even controlling your home through devices like Nest or Philips Hue. While it can do all of these things for you, sometimes the functionality it lacks can surprise users. It’s made even stranger because Google seems to add features that some would deem important much later than others, like the ability to set your own audio to play for an alarm set by the Assistant. Only recently did Google silently add support for searching for YouTube videos on a Chromecast through the Google Assistant, which again may seem like something that should have been added a long time ago.

To activate the feature, simply ask the virtual assistant on any of your enabled devices to display a list of videos of a certain type on your Chromecast-enabled TV. If your TV were named “Bedroom TV”, simply say “Hey Google, list x videos on YouTube on my bedroom TV” where x is any content you can imagine that would be on YouTube. You could also say “Ok Google, show me x videos from YouTube on my bedroom TV.” It’s simple to use, and can enhance your home cinema system substantially.

A video from /u/otaviosk showing the new feature in action on their Chromecast enabled TV.

It appears that the feature is slowly being rolled out, as multiple users have reported not being able to use the feature. Our Editor, Mishaal Rahman, can confirm that it works, though. It is unknown if it will be a regional exclusive, or later tied to a user’s account which has a YouTube Red subscription or not.

There appears to be no way to force-enable the feature, and there appear to be some limitations. For one, you can’t play videos from your subscriptions, and secondly, it seems that it won’t be available for the first generation Chromecast. You can ask it to list videos from an individual YouTuber, however. Simply saying “Hey Google, list XDADeveloper’s videos on YouTube” for example will net you a stream of the latest videos available on our YouTube channel. Give it a try, and let us know if it works on your device!


Source: /u/otaviosk on /r/GoogleHome

First Android Go phones, more Android One devices, and new Lens/Assistant features to be announced at MWC

On Monday, Mobile World Congress 2018 will officially begin in Barcelona. The Samsung Galaxy S9 will be announced on February 25, one day before the start of the event. Other major Android OEMs will also attend the event, and so will Google. In a blog post, Google’s Senior Vice President of Platforms & Ecosystems Hiroshi Lockheimer stated that the company will showcase its latest products, including Google Assistant and Lens.

RCS will also be an important topic at the event, as users can expect to see the “growing industry momentum” around it. The most important thing at the event, however, might be the launch of the first Android Go phones. Android Oreo (Go Edition) was launched as a low-powered version of Android 8.1 Oreo last year, intended for phones with 1GB of RAM or less. These phones have less storage and processing power, and are less expensive to produce. Therefore, they can be sold for low prices such as $50.

At MWC, the first Android Go phones will be launched, and Mr. Lockheimer states that soon after the event, users will be able to purchase them. The Android Go project has seen the launch of several Go-branded Google apps, such as Google Go, that are designed to use less memory and are optimized for regions with limited data connectivity. (It’s worth noting that Android Go can also be used to help older phones run Android 8.1 Oreo.)

Next up is Android One. The first Android One phones were launched in 2014, and although the project suffered from a slow start, it gained momentum in 2017. Xiaomi jumped into the game with the Mi A1, and Motorola and HTC soon followed with the Moto X4 Android One Edition and the Android One edition of the U11 Life. Mr. Lockheimer stated that at MWC, “consumers would see news from [Google’s] partners about some great new Android One devices.” Android One phones are stated to get updates for two years.

He also shared current Android statistics. As of now, the world’s most popular mobile operating system powers more than 2 billion active devices from 1,300 brands across 24,000 unique products. It’s unquestionable that Android has experienced a considerable amount of success, and with projects such as Android Go and Android One, we expect it to attain even more success in the future.


Source: Google

Nest’s indoor Cam IQ security camera now supports Google Assistant

  • Nest is rolling out an update to the indoor Cam IQ security camera.
  • The update brings Google Assistant support, though it does not work with the device itself.
  • Nest also added a cheaper option to its Nest Aware subscription plan.


Smart home company Nest announced an over-the-air update for its indoor Cam IQ security camera that brings support for Google Assistant. The update was originally promised last September, though it should be noted that the outdoor Cam IQ will not get the update.

With the update, you can utter the usual “OK Google” commands, with the Cam IQ’s blue light shining bright when it is listening. In addition to basic web searches, you can ask the indoor Cam IQ to create shopping lists, set reminders, change the temperature, and dim the lights.

This is another example of Nest and Google products working more closely together. Nest previously operated as an Alphabet subsidiary and recently merged into Google’s hardware division.

Weirdly enough, Google Assistant does not control the Cam IQ itself. You cannot use your voice to turn the camera on when you leave your house or turn it off when you get back home.

You can automate those functions within the Nest app, but there is a possibility Google Assistant will eventually directly work with the indoor Cam IQ.

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Finally, Nest tweaked its Nest Aware subscription service tiers. In addition to the existing $10 for 10 days and $30 for 30 days, customers can also pick a 5-day plan for $5 a month.

Even with the new tier, more intelligent Nest Aware alerts, and improved facial recognition, the Cam IQ is still a pricy proposition. The camera costs $300, and that is before you factor in the obligatory Nest Aware subscription.

That being said, the Cam IQ’s feature-loaded update and existing features make it a good choice for those who want a cloud-powered security camera.

New Google Assistant visualization: multiple YouTube results on Chromecast

  • A YouTube user posted a video of himself issuing voice commands to Google Assistant which resulted in a list of videos on his television.
  • Using only his voice, he scrolls through the video options and selects which one he wants to watch.
  • This is the second Google Assistant visualization that’s appeared in the wild, with more to come soon.


Two weeks ago, we wrote about the very first Google Assistant visualization, a simple weather forecast that appears on your television after issuing the Assistant a voice command. While “Hey Google, show me the weather,” isn’t exactly the most exciting development in the virtual assistant’s history, it is the first time we’ve actually been able to see something the assistant does, rather than just hear it.

Now we have a second visualization as depicted in the YouTube video below. YouTube user Otavio Santos filmed himself issuing a series of commands to Google Assistant which resulted in a list of YouTube videos displayed on his television. He then watches one of the videos by telling Assistant which one he wants to watch. Check it out:

The command Mr. Santos issued was, “Hey Google, list NFL videos on YouTube on my bedroom TV.” After showing a list of four videos as well as a link to the official NFL channel, Assistant asks which one he would like to view. He answers with, “Show more,” and the list changed to feature the next five videos.

Mr. Santos then says, “Show number six,” and Assistant starts playing the video on his Chromecast-enabled television.

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Assistant also gave a few other choices Mr. Santos could have responded with, like “Show only videos” and “Show only channels,” but he didn’t use any of them, so we didn’t get to see them in action.

Users on Reddit are reporting mixed results when trying this for themselves, so it appears Google is slowly rolling out this feature. Depending on your location and hardware setup, you may or may not be able to duplicate what’s shown in the video.

At Google’s I/O conference in 2017, the company promised many new visual responses would show up on Google Home and other Google Assistant-enabled devices. So far, this and the weather command are the only ones we’ve seen, but 2018 has just begun so we can expect to see more in the coming months.

What visual response do you want most from Google Assistant?

Nest’s indoor Cam IQ security camera now features Google Assistant

Last September, Nest officially announced that it was planning on updating its Cam IQ indoor security camera to add Google Assistant. While Nest technically missed its self-imposed deadline to launch the feature, the wait is now over.

Today Nest officially announced that it is sending out the OTA update to the Cam IQ security camera which will bring Google Assistant into the mix. It is worth noting, though, that the outdoor versions of the security camera is not getting this particular update.

With the Google Assistant built into Nest Cam IQ, owners will be able to ask the standard queries they would on any other device that has Google Assistant support. That means you will be able to ask the security camera how the weather is, create appointments in your calendar, and much more. Owners will also be able to control other Nest-branded smart home accessories.

Google Assistant will not make it possible for owners to use their voice to turn the camera on or off, which seems like a strange omission, but that could change at some point in the future.

nestcamiq

Nest is also announcing a new Nest Aware subscription service plan which will start at $5 per month for five days of video uploading. That is in addition to the $10/month for 10 days of uploading, and $30/month for 30 days of uploading options that are already available.

Nest and Google recently announced that Nest would be merging with the Google’s hardware division, all in an effort to make sure that Google can bring its digital assistant technology and other AI-related features to more hardware products.

What do you think of the new Google Assistant integration? Is it something you’ll take advantage of?