We haven’t seen the new form of the Google Assistant since Google I/O, which was held in May 2019. Back then, it was clear Google was planning on making some fairly huge alterations to the way the Google Assistant worked, and was looking to expand the Assistant’s ability to interact with on-screen content. It did this by reducing the amount of space the Assistant took up, removing the separate pop-up screen, and shrinking the Assistant commands into the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.
However, when Android 10 launched, the new gesture navigation system eradicated the nav bar. It was clear Google would have to change things up — and thanks to the folks over at 9to5Google, we now have a clearer idea of how Google will achieve this.
According to the leaked videos, Google’s solution involves a more transparent Assistant panel. In the current Google Assistant, the panel pops up whenever you make a query — in the new Google Assistant, it’ll only pop up when it has information to show you. When the new Assistant is summoned via the “OK, Google” hotword or with Active Edge, it’ll display in a transparent box, with faded buttons to open the keyboard and access the feed either side of your query text. Google’s four colors dance at the bottom, bleeding up towards your enquiry.
Other videos also show off some new Assistant abilities, like searching for specific pictures in Google Photos and displaying directions and public transit options in the main Assistant pop-up screen.
The new Motion Sense powered by the Project Soli chip is also expected to be a huge part of the Google Pixel 4, and more leaked videos from 9to5Google have shown us how a few of its new features are expected to work. Motion Sense is expected to detect movements in 3D space and translate those movements into commands — allowing you to control your device without touching it. The videos show it being used to skip tracks on Spotify, silence calls, and dismiss alarms with just a wave of the hand.
The new Google Assistant and Motion Sense are expected to be big parts of the Made by Google presentation on October 15. Both are expected to be unveiled alongside the new Pixel 4 range, and there’s also been talk of a new Pixelbook, Pixel Buds, and smart speakers — all of which will likely heavily incorporate the new Google Assistant. Make sure to tune in on October 15 to officially see it in action.
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