Google Assistant now lets you donate to charity with a few spoken commands

One way to kick off 2019 on a positive note is by donating to a charity of your choice. And one way to do it is with Google Assistant.

That’s right, folks, if tapping your way through a charity’s website or writing out a check has ever felt like too much effort, then there’s really no excuse anymore as Google Assistant now lets you do the good deed via voice.

Google quietly rolled out the feature as part of an update in early December that makes it easier to make a charitable donation through the Play Store. Spotted by 9to5Google, voice-controlled donations can be completed in no time at all using Google’s smart assistant on any of your digital devices, including smartphones running Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or later, smart displays, and Google Home smart speakers.

To begin the process, first make sure you have already enabled Google Assistant Payments, which lets you make all kinds of purchases and reservations via voice.

After that, it’s simply a case of calling out, “Hey Google, donate to charity,” or “OK Google, make a donation.” It will even accept an instruction that includes a specific amount, such as, “OK Google, donate $10 to charity,” although this can also be sorted out later.

Once it has processed your initial command, Google Assistant will ask you to name (if you haven’t already done so) the organization to which you’d like to donate. Then you’ll be prompted to confirm the details, and that’s it — job done.

The ability to make charitable donations using Google Assistant follows Amazon’s launch of the same feature for Alexa in the spring of 2017.

Pretty much identical to how Google’s donation process works, you just need to tell Amazon’s digital assistant to send a specified amount of money to the non-profit of your choice.

You’ll go through a couple of exchanges with Alexa to confirm your action, culminating in the money being taken from your linked account. Finally, you’ll receive an email from Amazon that provides a record of your donation.

Alexa Donations can handle any sum between $5 and $5,000. The feature launched with support for 50 charities, among them the American Childhood Cancer Organization, the American Heart Association, and the World Wildlife Fund. Many more have since been added.

Computing

In the age of Alexa and Siri, Cortana’s halo has grown dim

In a sea of voice assistants, Cortana has become almost irrelevant. The nearly five-year-old voice assistant is seeing little love from consumers, and here’s why it is dead.
Smart Home

What exactly is Alexa? Where does she come from? And how does she work?

While "Alexa" has become synonymous with products like the Amazon Echo, you can't actually go out and buy an "Alexa." So what is Alexa? How does she work? Here's everything you need to know about Amazon's virtual assistant.
Smart Home

Want to publish your own Alexa skill? Here's how to do it

Building new Alexa skills has never been easier! Thanks to Alexa Blueprints, you can pick a template and create any kind of Alexa skill you want. What new skill will you make first? Here's how to do it.
Smart Home

Google Home Mini vs. Amazon Echo Dot: Which smart home speaker is better?

We put the two most popular smart home speakers -- the Google Home Mini and the 3rd generation Amazon Echo Dot -- together and tested them on appearance, audio, and abilities. So which should you buy? Find out how they did in our showdown.
Deals

Amazon slashes prices on Fitbit Versa smartwatches for Presidents’ Day

Amazon is offering a solid $30 discount on this great fitness tracking smartwatch right now. So if you're looking for a wearable that can help you track steps, sleep, and activity, now is a great time to pick one up for less.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

Be careful who you bokeh, jokes Apple’s latest iPhone ad

With iPhone sales under pressure, you'd think there wouldn't be much to laugh about at Apple HQ. But the company has seen fit to inject some humor into its latest handset ad, which highlights the camera's Depth Control feature.
Mobile

How to perform a reverse image search in Android or iOS

You can quickly use Google to search, and reverse search, images on a PC or laptop, but did you know it's almost as easy to do in Android and iOS? We explain how to do it here, whether you want to use Chrome or a third-party app.
Mobile

The best Honor View 20 cases to keep your midrange beauty intact

With power to rival flagships, great looks, and a stunning camera, the Honor View 20 is an excellent phone -- but it still needs protection from hazards. Here are some of the best Honor View 20 cases.
Mobile

Samsung's Unpacked draws near. Here's what we know about the Galaxy S10 so far

It won't be long now. With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Mobile

Gorilla Glass 6 will cover the Xiaomi Mi 9's AMOLED screen

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.
Mobile

Flip from portrait to landscape as we reveal how to rotate a video on iPhone

If you've accidentally shot a video in portrait orientation and you want to flip to landscape, then this is the guide for you. We'll explain how to use iMovie to rotate a video on your iPhone or iPad for free and suggest alternative apps.
Mobile

The 2019 iPhone could put a charge into your other Apple gadgets

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.
Mobile

5G is the swift kick VR and AR gaming needs to come to fruition

There's a lot of hype surrounding augmented reality and virtual reality, but is it really the next big thing? We take a look at where the new mediums stand, as well as how 5G is poised to help them break into the mainstream.