Google Assistant Comes to DISH Hopper Boxes Via Update and New Remote

Google Assistant Comes to DISH Hopper Boxes Via Update and New Remote


DISH customers sporting a Hopper, Joey, or Walley can now access Google Assistant, thanks to a software update and the release of a brand new voice remote.

With Assistant in your Hopper box, users can play, pause, fast forward, rewind, and search for content across DISH’s library of live TV and on-demand content. Not only will you be controlling your TV experience, but with Assistant, you’ll have access to the same smart home controls and Google Search results as you would on any other Google Home or similar device.

According to Google, DISH customers with a voice remote and a broadband-connected Hopper (all generations), Joey (all models) or Wally can access the Google Assistant once they receive the software update. New customers and existing DISH customers without a voice remote can visit here to check their eligibility for the new voice remote at no extra cost.

Nice.

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Tip: If You Want to Use Google Keep for Shopping Lists, Add Items With Voice Search

Tip: If You Want to Use Google Keep for Shopping Lists, Add Items With Voice Search


In 2017, Google made a change to how it handles shopping lists through Google Assistant. Instead of allowing you to add items to their dedicated and fully-featured lists/notes app, Google Keep, they killed that integration and moved everyone over to a dedicated shopping list portal through Google Express. I think we all know why they made that move (đź’°), even if it annoyed the sh*t out of everyone.

After enough complaining or something, Google told us at Google I/O in 2018 that they’d soon let people choose default apps for both lists and notes in Assistant. The option to choose where you save notes to, when asking through Google Assistant, arrived towards the end of last year and remains there.

Around the time it showed up, a Googler popped into a reddit thread about a Google Keep update and suggested that default list choosing would be along shortly after. … Read the rest

Google Home Now Less Obnoxious When It Comes to Turning Off Lights

Google Home Now Less Obnoxious When It Comes to Turning Off Lights


Every night for the past several years, I’ve run two Google Assistant commands. The first is to turn on my bedroom lights, followed by a second not long after to turn them back off. Each time I do that, Google responds with an audio reply that it has done exactly what I asked. The thing is, it’s super annoying when it’s 11PM and the last thing you need is Google to confirm out loud that it has turned your lights off, when you know – because you have eyes – that it has already done so.

Google announced through its Google Nest forums today that it has changed how this all works. My lord, thank you.

Going forward, if the Google Home product you are talking to is in the same room as the lights you’d like to turn off, you will no longer here the full “OK, turning off … Read the rest

abode Flips the Switch for Full Google Assistant Integration

abode Flips the Switch for Full Google Assistant Integration


abode, a maker of many smart home and home security products, announced today that is has enabled full on Google Assistant integration with its range of products.

Previously, abode’s Google Assistant integration was limited to controlling lighting, switches, and plugs. With this updated integration, abode users can now use Google Assistant to issue voice commands that give them control over all aspects of their abode system that can include lighting, locks, cameras, door and window sensors, garage door openers, plus arming and disarming security systems.

While away, owners can arm or disarm an abode system using the voice command, “Ok Google, arm abode to away mode” and “Ok Google, disarm abode”. Disarming the system using a voice command requires a 4-6 digit security code for verification. When home, you can ask Google Assistant to tell you what status the abode system is in currently and issue a voice command … Read the rest

Google workers listen to your “OK Google” queries—one of them leaked recordings

Google workers listen to your “OK Google” queries—one of them leaked recordings

Enlarge / The Google Home Mini, the original Google Home, and the Google Home Max. (credit: Google)

Google today defended its practice of having workers listen to users’ Google Assistant queries, following the leak of 1,000 voice recordings to a media outlet. Google also said it will try to prevent future leaks of its users’ voice recordings.

VRT NWS, a news organization run by a public broadcaster in the Flemish region of Belgium, said it “was able to listen to more than a thousand [Google Assistant] recordings” that it received from a Google subcontractor.

Google Assistant is used on Google Home smart speakers, Android devices, and Chromebooks.

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DEAL: Sony WH1000XM2 Wireless Headphones for $289 (Google Assistant Compatible)

DEAL: Sony WH1000XM2 Wireless Headphones for $289 (Google Assistant Compatible)


Everybody in the tech community seems to love Sony’s WH1000XM2 headphones. Not only are they a solid option if you’re looking for a comfortable and good sounding pair of headphones with active noise cancellation, but thanks to an update they received last year, they also include compatibility with Google Assistant.

For a limited time over on Woot, you can get a new pair of these headphones for just $289, down from their usual price of $348.

Given the price, there are a few more bells and whistles found inside these headphones, too. For example, the 1000XM2 model offers touch controls, fast charging, Quick Attention mode, as well as Smart Listening.

Get on it.

Woot! Link

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There are so Many Great Alternatives to Shouting “Hey Google” at Google Assistant

There are so Many Great Alternatives to Shouting “Hey Google” at Google Assistant


The “Hey Google” and “OK Google” commands have always been hit or miss for me. I can’t tell if that’s because I speak weirdly or if Google just hates me, but a reddit thread with alternatives to those two commands has me ready to take back control of my Google Home and Google Assistant devices.

To be clear, you can’t change the hotwords for Google Assistant, we’re talking about using similar phrases that trick Google into thinking you are saying “Hey” or “OK Google.”

For example, “Cocaine poodle” is a fantastic option that fires up Assistant almost every time. “Hey Boo Boo,” in your best Yogi Bear voice is bound to bring useful laughter. Someone in that thread below recommended “OK Pooper,” which oddly works. I’m a fan of “Egg Noodle” or “Hey Doogle” too. “Eggo Waffle” supposedly works, but I’ve had no luck.

Until Google gives us the power … Read the rest

Waze Gets Google Assistant

Waze Gets Google Assistant


Waze, the social GPS and navigation app whose features Google Maps has slowly adopted over the years, is catching up for the first time. Google Assistant, which arrived in Google Maps back in January, is now available in Waze.

The rollout has begun in the US first, with access that lets you get Assistant help without leaving the Waze app. You can launch music, send messages to friends, or call people, but you can also have the Assistant report traffic or help you avoid tolls while navigating.

Check for updates at the link below or start shouting “Hey Google!” at your phone to see if it’s live on your device.

Google Play Link

Waze Google Assistant

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Lenovo Smart Clock Review: About as Exciting as a Clock Can Be

Lenovo Smart Clock Review: About as Exciting as a Clock Can Be


Here we are, reviewing smart clocks. 2019 is awesome! After waiting months for Lenovo to release the Smart Clock since its unveiling at CES this past January, the time has come! Priced at just $79, there isn’t a lot you need to know about this little device, though, I can tell you what not to expect from it.

This is a clock that features Google Assistant — nothing more. It’s not a smaller option to the Google Nest Hub or even a competitor to Amazon’s new Echo Show 5. All this device does is show you the time, play music, provide info via Assistant, and that’s about it.

If you’re okay with that, then let’s dive a bit deeper, shall we?

The Smart Clock is rather small, featuring a 4″ IPS touchscreen display. Navigating the UI is much like a larger Smart Display from any number of … Read the rest

Lenovo Smart Clock review: A small smart display that doesn’t display much

Lenovo Smart Clock review: A small smart display that doesn’t display much

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Google, Amazon, Facebook, and the like want to convince you that you need a smart display. But as we’ve explored in previous reviews, most smart displays are luxury versions of their screen-less counterparts. Everything that you can do with an Amazon Echo or a Google Home can be done with a comparable smart display, but the latter can show you visual information and (in some cases) videos. If you don’t care much for visual information in such a device, why spring for a smart display? These devices are hard sells, particularly because most cost $150 or more.

That’s not the case with Lenovo’s new Smart Clock. It’s the first Google-Assistant answer to Amazon’s Echo Spot, serving as a tiny smart screen that shows the time by default and can be used to set alarms and do everything a regular Google Home device does. It

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