Google unveils family-focused features for Assistant devices

Google is rolling out a bevy of fresh capabilities to Assistant-powered devices that are meant to enhance the way family members collaborate and connect with each other. There are new family-focused features for Google Fi as well.

Perhaps the most notable update is the ability for children to ask Assistant about the location of their parents or any member of the family, provided they're 13 years old or above and are logged in to their account via Family Link. The new feature is powered by Google Maps and Life360, available starting today on Assistant-enabled devices including smart speakers and displays as well as Android and iOS phones.

Google is also introducing Family Notes, a new feature that will let users add digital sticky notes to smart displays like the Nest Hub. With Family Notes, parents can leave a reminder to defrost the pie, for example, and monitor a shared list of activities with the entire family. It's available from today along with new enhancements to Assistant’s Family Bell feature, including fresh sound effects and suggested bells. Soon, you'll be able to pause your bells for a certain period.

For parents who want to spend time on interactive stories with the whole family, Google is also adding new content from companies like ABCmouse, Noggin, and Capstone that will show up on their smart displays. Later this year, the search giant plans to add a new Family tab to smart displays in order to help you easily access these new features.

For families who don't have a smart display at home, Google is bringing family-oriented features to its Google Fi plans. These include a new capability that will let parents protect their kids from calls from telemarketers and spam callers by allowing only saved and recent contacts to connect with them. Parents can also set a data cap for their children and set up Family Link right from within the Fi app to control how their kids use Android devices.

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