Google Assistant Gets Some New Family-Friendly Abilities


Google Assistant has picked up a number of fun new features aimed at appealing to the entire family. These include things like games, trivia, fun facts, and telling stories. The goal of the new actions is to be kid-friendly, above all, but there's also fun to be had for particularly imaginative and young-at-heart parents. Arguably more important than the new actions, however, is the new Family Link implementation that allows children under 13 to get a Google account that's Assistant-ready, with parental consent, and use it to get a unique Assistant experience. With parents managing things, kids can use Google Assistant in much the same way as any adult, and they can even enroll their voices in a Google Home unit's voice recognition, though the maximum capacity for enrollment is only 6 for now, which means that a nuclear family with four children is the most it can support; families with lots of children, or polyamorous families with more than three kids are out of luck unless Google adds in the ability to save more voice prints in a later update.

The new update comes with over 50 new games, activities, and stories. Family favorites that will get everybody moving like freeze dance and musical chairs are on board, as well as trivia of all sorts, and more unique games like Mickey Mouse Adventure and superhero quizzes. Asking Google Assistant to tell you a story will now get you just that, or you can ask for a specific story. Kids can even get homework help through Google Assistant. If a bored family is stumped on what to ask Google to do to help them have fun, they can just say that they want to do something fun, or shout out "Ok Google, Abracadabra".

Google's efforts to entertain entire families and get people to enjoy Google services together are not entirely new. Family Link, the part of Google's service stack that allows kids to get an account, has been around since March, letting parents control what apps kids can use, set bedtimes, and monitor device usage. Google has also rolled out family plans for Google Play Music and YouTube Red, along with a Family Library feature for the Play Store that allows a family group to share certain app and game purchases.


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Senior Staff Writer

Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, Voice assistants, AI technology development news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]

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