Google just yesterday announced its voice search interface coming to older Android devices. Android fragmentation has so long been worsening the experience in Android devices. Apple’s software platform is arguably better than Google when it comes to software update rollout to older devices. Just a meagre 0.5% Android devices have gotten access to the most recent Android Oreo version. But despite this, the Mountain View company is now manifesting its concern for a few generations old Android Lollipop users.
Google’s voice assistant – Google Assistant will now be available on older phones running Android 5.0 Lollipop OS. With this compatibility, it will now add 26 percent (as per Android distribution chart) ‘install base’ to the virtual personal assistant’s platform. And while major updates are yet to take real shape in more than thousands of Android devices, users who own a 2-year old Android phone at least have one reason not to sulk, as they will finally be able to access one of Google’s best features.
Google has already started rolling out the Assistant to users in the U.S., UK, Canada, Singapore, Australia and India. If you are one of those blessed users who has received the update, here are some features that you can try, and it may help you do more with your phone.
1. Google Assistant helps you set an alarm.
Winter is here and most of you might have had a good thrash (at least once) for being late at work, college or even catching up with your friends for a movie (thanks to the warm bed, eh!). Even if you forget to set the phone’s alarm for the next day, don’t worry, the Assistant just got you covered. Just say “Ok Google” while the screen is on or long press the home button and then say, “Set an alarm” followed by the time that you want to set the alarm for the next day. Google Assistant will automatically save the specified time on your phone.
2. Google Assistant can be a pleasant weather forecaster.
Planning for a weekend decampment after a long tiring week? What if the weather has some other plans for you? Google Assistant can save you from the frostbite. Just simply ask Assistant ‘What’s the weather for the weekend’ and it will give you a forecast showing whether it will be a bright nautical day or just veiled with clouds.
3. Google Assistant can help you search a good vacation spot.
If you are looking for best vacation spots to celebrate Christmas, Google Assistant may have some good suggestions in its closet. Simply say, “Suggest good vacation spots for Christmas” and it will pull up some good and even cheap places to have a good getaway with your family or friends.
4. Google Assistant can help in hunting good eateries.
If you are a food bon vivant (a food lover ) who likes to hunt down places in search of delicious food, Google Assistant might serve you the right fare. Just ask the voice assistant to “Search restaurants nearby” and it will pop up a list showing restaurants along with the distance and rating. Just scroll through and tap into the restaurant with your desired cuisine.
5. Set reminders to pay bills on time.
We often forget to wish our dear ones on their special occasions. And sometimes it even gets worse with us ending up paying our bills a week later than the stipulated time. Google Assistant serves a good reminder for that matter and helps you save that penalty amount from getting wasted (can’t blame our memory). The digital assistant can help set a reminder for you. All you need to say is “Ok Google, set a reminder for the bill I need to pay next week” and then say, “Save It”. It will show the reminder that is saved on the phone. You can check it later by tapping or simply use your voice and say “View Reminders”.
Besides this, the Assistant can also open apps for you (in case you don’t want to take your hands out of your pocket), send a text message, show the fastest route to your destination and even play your favourite music. This is just the beginning and there’s a lot more you can do with the assistant. Do give it a go and share your experience with us in the comments section below.