Google is introducing five new features for Google Assistant today, promising to make small day-to-day tasks easier. A notable one is the ability for Nest devices, like the new Nest Hub, to find your iPhone. You can ask the Google Assistant to find your phone, and it will ring it with a custom ringtone, even if the phone is set to silent or Do Not Disturb. You will need to enable notifications and critical alerts for the Google Home app on your iPhone, though.
Another notable addition for the Assistant is more Duplex functionality on the web. If you remember, Duplex was initially shown off as a way for the Google Assistant to handle certain types of phone calls, such as making reservations at a restaurant, but in 2019, some of that intelligence was brought to the web, making it easier to buy movie tickets in the U.S.
Now, it will also be making it easier to buy takeout and food delivery online. Basically, once you've chosen what you want to buy and hit the checkout button, the Assistant will navigate the website and fill in your payment and contact information automatically. For now, this will only work with select restaurant chains, though Google says it will expand to even more places across the U.S. later in the year.
The other updates are arguably smaller in scope, but it's now possible to create Assistant routines based on the sunrise or sunset time in a specific location, such as turning on the lights in your home once the sun sets. Google will also start showing suggested actions in the Google Home and Assistant apps, which can help you come up with ideas for routines based on them.
Finally, there's a new feature that lets you ask about this year's Oscars ceremony, such as nominees for individual categories and when the show is airing. Google didn't explain how this will make your day easier, though.