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Google Assistant Is Getting Widgets That Don't Suck

google assistant widgets
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Google Assistant on your smartphone is getting good widgets, finally. And not just the barebones version that Google launched last year with Android 11.

The widgets work pretty well, from what we’ve been able to see so far. Basically, when you ask about data from a certain app, it’ll show you a widget with the data you’re looking for. One example that Google has given us is Strava. Ask about your miles on Strava and it’ll show your weekly miles, and a breakdown of how far you ran each day. And also how far you are in your challenge.

These widgets aren’t really like static on your homescreen, where they will always appear when you open Google Assistant, only when you ask about certain apps.

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Google is also planning to bring widgets to Android Auto. So drivers can view more information from the apps they use, while keeping their eyes on the road.

Google Assistant shortcuts are getting better in Android 12

Shortcuts will automatically appear in the Assistant gallery once you’ve built them. Giving you a complete list of voice commands available for apps on your device.

Shortcuts were actually announced with Android 11 last fall, and were pretty limited at launch. This change will make them a lot easier to use, and access.

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On top of all of this, Google Assistant is also getting some new framework APIs. That will let users jump into specific portions of an app. Google is also improving the experience when using smart displays. So that apps and games developed in Interactive Canvas now enter full-screen mode. So it can hide the header that runs along the top of the screen.

Not a lot of big changes for Google Assistant this time around. But still some pretty decent ones, that is going to make the experience a whole lot better for everyone.