Digital assistants have come a long way since Apple released Siri in 2011, and that growth isn’t stopping. Today Google Assistant picked up several new features to make your life easier. Now it can help find your iPhone, order takeout, and automate your life with new routines.
The features are rolling out now, and for anyone who likes Google Assistant and Displays but prefers iPhone, the first should be very welcome. Until now, you could ask a Nest Hub (or other Google Display) to “find my phone,” and it would ring your Android phone.
But you couldn’t use the feature to find an iPhone. That changes today, and iPhone owners can now opt-in to receiving notifications and critical alerts from the Google Home app. Ask a Google Display to find your iPhone, and it will make the device play a custom ring tone. You’ll hear it even if you left your iPhone on silent or Do Not Disturb. You’ll need the Google Home app for iOS installed, of course.
Google Assistant can help you with takeout orders now, too. Google worked with a few partner restaurants to start but hopes to expand this out more. Search for a restaurant near you in the Google App on Android, and if the restaurant you want to order from is supported, you’ll see an “order online” button.
Go through the usual process of picking the food you want. After that, the Assistant will automatically navigate the site, order your food, and fill in your contact and payment details you have saved in Google Pay and synced to Chrome Autofill. You won’t have to deal with navigating a confusing website; Google Assistant does the work for you.
Routines are getting some attention as well. Google is rolling out sunset and sunrise routines globally that vary based on location. You can customize it to automatically on or off lights or other smart home devices as the sun rises or sets in your area.
And to help you get started with Routines, Google created new dedicated section with Ready-Made Routines. It can suggest routines you might useful like, “tell me if my battery is low” or “tell me what happened today in history.” You can also add a shortcut to your Android’s home screen to jump to your favorite routine. The new routines are rolling out today in the Google Home app and Assistant settings.