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Google Assistant tackles back-to-school with new features for students at home

With back-to-school season just around the corner, Google Assistant has several new features that will help get the day started. These features are aimed specifically at those learning from home. Until schools are safe to return to, Google Assistant can help re-create at home the same feeling as the start of a new school year.

The “Family Bell” feature allows users to set reminders throughout the day for when it is time to start a new class, take a break, or even have recess. Just say, “Hey Google, create a Family Bell.” You can also access this feature in Assistant settings on your mobile device. It includes preset and suggested bells for activities such as naptime and math class, but you can create custom alerts as well. Different bells can go off for different users, which makes this feature particularly useful for parents with multiple kids at home.

The broadcast feature has been available for some time now on Google Assistant-powered smart speakers, but you can now use it to broadcast messages to a specific room or device. This makes it easier to communicate around the home without disturbing the entire house with a broadcast.

One of the most fun features is the school day feature. You can access this by saying, “Hey, Google, start the school day,” or “Hey, Google, school’s in session.” This will cause smart displays to show school-themed visuals, and your smart speakers will begin to play the familiar sounds of a morning hallway, such as kids opening lockers. If you have connected smart lights, this feature will cause them to flash in upbeat patterns of red, orange, and yellow.

Finally, there is also the Animal of the Day feature. Just say, “Hey, Google, tell me about the animal of the day” to receive fun facts about a new, different animal each day. The feature will play the sound that animal makes, provide information about it, and provide a creative challenge like drawing the creature.

While many kids are disappointed that they cannot yet return to school, these Google Assistant features can help create the same atmosphere and make learning from home fun.

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Patrick Hearn
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Patrick Hearn writes about smart home technology like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, smart light bulbs, and more. If it's a…
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