Google’s New Family Broadcast Feature Sends Messages From Speakers to Smartphones

The Google Nest Hub on a white desk
Cameron Summerson

Today, Google is announcing a bunch of new tools on Google Assistant smart speakers, displays, and even smartphones. The hook is that these are great tools for moms on Mother’s Day, but between you and me, they seem pretty legit for everyone, all year round. 😉

To start, the Broadcast feature is getting a supercharged feature that it’s needed for a long time: integration with smartphones. You could always broadcast from your smartphone to smart speakers and displays, but now you’ll also be able to broadcast from your smart speakers or displays to smartphones in your Google Family Group. The best part? It will work with both Android phones and iPhones. Dope.


Google

When you broadcast to your family group, the message will hit all the smart speakers and displays in your Google Home, plus send a notification to all the phones in your Family Group. Phone users can then respond to the notification with voice or text. This is a fantastic update to a great feature. Love it.

Beyond Broadcast, Assistant speakers and displays are also getting new stories from partners like Pottermore Publishing and Penguin Random House. For example, you’ll be able to ask Assistant to “tell a Quiddich story” or “talk to Who Was” for stories from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or stories from PRH’s Who Was series, respectively.

New games are also on deck here, too. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader will be available on Nest Hub, which should help you keep your pride in check. Apparently, you can even win fake money, which is…something, I guess?

"Who Was" integration in Google Assistant on a Nest Hub
Google

Finally, Family Bell is getting a few new reminder options for things like watering plants and cleaning up. There are even new songs to help—just say “Hey Google, sing the clean up song” to get a little jingle similar to the handwashing song. More songs will also be available, like the “brush your teeth song” and “go to sleep song.”

These features should begin rolling out today, though there’s no word on when they’ll be available to everyone.

Google

Cameron Summerson Cameron Summerson
Cameron Summerson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and serves as an Editorial Advisor for How-to Geek and LifeSavvy. He’s been covering technology for nearly a decade and has written over 4,000 articles and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times. Read Full Bio »

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