Google Assistant wants to shake up your boring pandemic routine

Because none of us remember to eat now.


Google has a new Assistant routine that will remind you of the passage of time as you continue to work from home. The workday routine will prompt you to get up and move, go for a walk, grab a glass of water and other normal human being activities at various points throughout the day, just in case, you know, you were beginning to atrophy at your desk while seasons changed outside your window. The new feature rolls out this week and comes pre-configured with suggested actions at specific times, though you can customize these yourself. So instead of (or in addition to) “start preparing dinner” at 5pm, you might set a reminder to “Take a shower, you stink” at 7pm, too.

Assistant will serve these reminders through your smart display or speaker, and will also regularly share the time with you throughout the day. It sounds similar to the Family Bell feature Google rolled out last month, except perhaps with a gentler notification than the campus-like clang.

Google also wants to help you have a more pleasant start and end to your work day and is rolling out a Gentle Sleep and Wake feature to all smart lights in the next few days. You can say “Hey Google, sleep (or wake) my lights at [your preferred time]” to have your lamps fade in or out and change colors correspondingly. If you already use an Assistant alarm, you can say “Turn on gentle wake up” to have your lights start getting brighter 30 minutes before your morning timer goes off.