While you could broadcast messages throughout your home to all Google Assistant devices, Google is now enabling you to target specific devices or rooms.

It's part of a few new features Google has introduced for the Back to School period. Another is the 'Family Bell' which means you can create a schedule for alerts…like a school day.

It's rolling out in English in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and India.

It'll be most useful for virtual learning – and there's been a lot of that going on in 2020 – but you can use it for any kind of schedule. So you can be alerted for lunch and break times if you work from home, for example.

You can enable it in Assistant settings or simply say “Hey Google, create a Family Bell. And you can be alerted on multiple Google Assistant devices.

Other features include:

  • When you say “Hey Google, start the school day” or “Hey Google, school’s in session!” Smart Displays like Nest Hub Max will show a school-themed visual and play the familiar sounds of school—like kids ruffling through their lockers. If you have smart lights set up, it will also trigger the lights to flash upbeat red, orange and yellow colours. This feature also works on Assistant-enabled smart speakers (you just won’t see the visual).

  • On Assistant-enabled smart speakers and Smart Displays in the US you can say, “Hey Google, tell me about the animal of the day” and hear fun facts about a new animal every day, listen to the sound each animal makes and even receive a creative daily challenge, like drawing what the animal looks like.

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