Latest in Gear

Image credit: Google

Google Assistant ambient mode turns some phones into smart displays

You can control music, smart homes and more, but only on select devices.
175 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Google

After first teasing it in September, Google has detailed exactly how its new Assistant ambient mode will work on smartphones. The idea is to make your phone more useful by while it's charging by letting you see Google photo images, play music, control your smart home devices and more. The feature started rolling out to Nokia and Xiaomi devices last week, and will come to Sony and an OEM called Transsion next week, according to Ars Technica's Ron Amadeo.

In a video (above) Android product manager Arvind Chandrababu said the feature makes it easy to accomplish tasks with just a few clicks while your phone is charging. "Now with one tap, you can set the alarm, you can look at what time your first meeting is the next day, you can turn off the lights and you can also have a slide show of your photo memories." He added that the experience is "deeply integrated" into the Android OS and that Google has a number of similar similar features planned for OEM devices going forward.

Much like Pixel Stand, there's both a lockscreen that shows the time over a Google Photos slideshow, if desired. Tapping through shows notification cards with messages, calls, appointments, weather and more. At the bottom is a row of icons for controlling smart lights, enabling "do not disturb" mode and more.

The experience is meant for phones that don't have their own charging screen lock implementations, which might explain why it's not coming to the Pixel and other brands, apparently including Samsung devices. Chandrababu said it would come to "select devices" with Android 8 and above in the coming weeks. When it does, you'll get a notification to "see your photos and personal updates."

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
175 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Google fully explains why its apps aren't on new Huawei phones

Google fully explains why its apps aren't on new Huawei phones

View
'Friends' cast is locked in for a reunion special to launch HBO Max

'Friends' cast is locked in for a reunion special to launch HBO Max

View
Hot Wheels brings its NFC-enabled stat-tracker to even more toys this year

Hot Wheels brings its NFC-enabled stat-tracker to even more toys this year

View
Google search is showing invitations to private WhatsApp groups

Google search is showing invitations to private WhatsApp groups

View
The Hot Wheels RC Cybertruck is a mini Tesla for $400

The Hot Wheels RC Cybertruck is a mini Tesla for $400

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr