Tag Archives: Google Assistant

Better privacy and more flexibility with Nest devices

Homes are evolving quickly. We all started with one simple smart device (like a thermostat or a light bulb), but now many of us find ourselves living in homes with multiple devices from multiple companies. But privacy and data security hasn’t evolved with the growth of these devices.

Getting this right is the basis for the decisions we have been making at Nest. We’re living the commitments we published in May, putting your privacy and data safety first. While we’re focused on developing a more open platform, it must be grounded in security and safety, and that’s a tough balance to achieve.

Earlier this year, we announced that we’re moving from the Works with Nest program to Works with Google Assistant. Many of you had questions on how this will work. Today, we’re providing an update on what we’re doing to create an ecosystem that offers you greater flexibility to create a helpful home—one that’s just right for you. The Works with Google Assistant lets you control more than 30,000 devices from more than 3,500 partners, giving you lots of choices. 

We’re also adding new solutions to make Works with Assistant an even more flexible platform. That includes offering three additional ways to give you the integrations you’ve told us are important, and they’re combined with protections to keep your data private and secure. Here’s what you should know about our partners and your integrations:

  • With the Device Access program, we are enabling qualified partners to request secure  access and control of your Nest devices in their apps and solutions, providing you more choices to control your home. You’ll be able to opt-into the program, and you can always control which partners have access to which devices in your home. As an example, if you have a security system that offers a Device Access integration, you’ll be able to view and control your Nest cameras and other devices directly from your security provider’s app. Device Access partners must pass an annual security assessment from one of our authorized testers. You can rest easy knowing we’re doing the hard work to safeguard your Google data to our standards. 

  • Routines allow you to automate smart home experiences, and we’re expanding the Works with Google Assistant capabilities. Home Routineswill give you more flexibility to get the most out of your smart home devices. Soon we’ll be giving you a few new ways to experience Routines. First, you can choose to have your Nest devices trigger routines. For instance, if your connected smoke alarm identifies an emergency in your home, a Home Routine can flash your connected lights and turn them red to give you a visual cue. Or when it’s clear there’s nobody home, a Home Routine can turn down your thermostat, turn off your lights, and run your smart vacuum. Second, you can build your own Routines from scratch, or opt into common ones we've made for you. Third, some of the most innovative integrations were built by third party partners, so we’re also allowing partners to build custom routines. You’ll be able to browse and opt-in to using approved routines and choose to have Nest and other devices react and participate in that routine. You’ll always be in control, and can decide to opt in or out of these actions. All the while, your sensitive information won’t be shared, so your home data remains private.

  • We’ll also invite smart home developer enthusiasts to participate in our Device Access for Individualssandbox, allowing you to directly control your own Nest devices for your private integrations and automations.

The Device Access API is available today, and we have several partners with new integrations coming soon. Home Routines will be coming early next year, with partner-made routines available later in 2020. If you’re a developer or a Nest customer interested in the Device Access API, or access to the sandbox, you can find more information on our Device Access site

We’re doing the hard work to make your Nest devices more secure and protect your privacy long into the future. What this means for you is better privacy and data security, and the flexibility to safely work with thousands of products from partners to create your helpful home.

Pixel 4 is here to help

With a camera that captures detail that others can't, a new way to use your phone without touching it, a new Google Assistant, and a fast and responsive display, Pixel 4 packs new technology into a new design. Best of all, Pixel includes the latest version of Android, which gets better with each update.

Get the perfect photo with Pixel 4

Pixel 4 brings our largest camera upgrade yet. There are now two cameras on the back of the phone, including a new telephoto lens. When you combine this new hardware feature with our Super Res Zoom software, it gives you exceptional image quality—even from a distance.  

Night Sight already takes beautiful photos in full darkness, and now you can use Night Sight for shots of the night sky, the stars, and even the Milky Way (when you find a clear night). Pixel 3 and 3a will also get a version of this capability with the latest camera app update.

Starting with the original device, all Pixel phones have HDR+ (High Dynamic Range) which delivers outstanding photo quality. With Pixel 4, you can fine-tune the brightness and amount of detail in the shadows, helping with difficult shots like sunset portraits. Pixel 4 also has Live HDR+ in the viewfinder so you know exactly what your photo will look like, even when you're using the new controls in tricky lighting.

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Actual Night Sight photograph with the new astrophotography capability.

A new Google Assistant

Thanks to a deeper integration into Pixel 4, the Google Assistant is now a faster way to get more things done. Breakthroughs in speech processing mean that more requests can happen right on your phone, without always sending your request to the cloud. 

We redesigned the Assistant so it doesn’t take up too much room on your screen, letting you better multitask across other apps. It can quickly open apps, search your phone, share what's on your screen, and more. It also considers the context of your query to do a better job answering. For example, you can ask the Assistant to “show my photos from New York” and then say “the ones in Central Park.” Then, you can share a picture by saying “send it to Mom.” We’ll continue improving the technology that powers the new Assistant over time.

A phone that senses what you want it to do

Pixel 4’s Motion Sense feature uses a miniature radar sensor to detect movement around your phone. It can sense when you’re reaching for the phone and will initiate face unlock, or turn off your screen when you’re not around. New Quick Gestures let you skip songs when you don’t want to pick up your phone. Just wave your hand to snooze alarms, dismiss timers, or silence your phone ringer. Motion Sense is enabled everywhere Pixel 4 is sold, except in Japan where it's coming soon.

A gif showing someone skipping songs using Motion Sense

New built-in apps

Pixel 4’s new Recorder app records meetings, lectures, jam sessions—anything you want to save and listen to later—and simultaneously transcribes speech and identifies sounds like music and applause. You can easily search within your recordings to quickly find a specific word or sound. All of this happens on-device. We're starting with English for transcription and search, with more languages coming soon.

An example of how the recorder app works

Pixel 4 also comes with a new Personal Safety app that can automatically call 911 if it detects that you've been in a car accident. Car crash detection will be available in English in the U.S.

Built for performance and security

With 6GB RAM, a 90hz display, and Pixel Neural Core, Pixel 4 is fast and powerful. Pixel Neural Core is the engine for on-device processing, always-on computing, and machine learning, meaning more tasks are done on the device for performance and privacy. 

Pixel 4 also includes Google’s custom-built Titan M security chip to protect your most sensitive data and ensure the integrity of the operating system. Combined with the latest version of Android 10, monthly security updates for 3 years, and access to Google’s advanced security services, Pixel 4 is designed to keep your data secure.

Pricing and availability 

We’re expanding our carrier partner lineup and will be selling Pixel through all the major U.S. carriers for the first time, including AT&T, C Spire, Cellcom, Google Fi, Spectrum Mobile (Charter), Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon, Visible and Xfinity Mobile (Comcast). 

Beginning today, you can pre-order a Pixel 4 for $799 and Pixel 4 XL for $899, and phones will ship on October 24, globally. Pixel 4 comes in three colors, including Clearly White, Just Black, and a limited edition, Oh So Orange. 

More from this Collection

Made by Google, made to help

Pixel 4, Pixel Buds, Pixelbook Go, Nest Mini and Nest Wifi are part of our vision to create a consistent, helpful Google for you.

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Boost your home’s signal and style with Nest Wifi

Homes weren’t built for Wi-Fi, so when we introduced Google Wifi in 2016, we built it to work for any home. With Nest Wifi, we’re taking everything you love about the original and making it even better, with a powerful router and a Wifi point that includes the Google Assistant, bringing you more help at home.

Whole home coverage

The Nest Wifi system is actually two separate devices: The Nest Wifi router plugs directly into your modem, forming the basis for a strong and powerful home network, and the Nest Wifi point expands your coverage where you need it most. 

Nest Wifi is more powerful than Google Wifi, delivering up to two times the speed and up to 25 percent better coverage. A two pack can deliver coverage for a 3,800-square-foot home. The system is scalable, so you can add more points later (or buy a three pack to start with) to make sure you’re covered. And if you’ve already got a Google Wifi network, you can easily add Nest Wifi to it for additional coverage.

Simple setup and control in the Google Home App


App controls on Google Wifi

 You can manage your network in the Google Home app alongside your other supported connected devices.

Setting up Nest Wifi is easy. Plug it in and download and open the Google Home app, which will guide you through setup in minutes. Once you’re set up, you can manage your network in the app alongside your other supported connected devices.

The app makes it easy to share your Wi-Fi password with guests, prioritize devices (like when you’re on a video call), test the speed of your network, set up a guest network or change your password. Plus, if you have a Nest smart display like the Nest Hub Max, you can share the guest network and password right on the display—and scan the code with your phone to get online. 

You can also manage separate homes in the app. I’m the tech expert in my family, so I also manage my parents’ network. This way, when I get a call that the Wi-Fi isn’t working, I can quickly check what’s wrong or let them know if they need to call their internet provider. 

My sons are in middle and high school, so while I want them to go offline at certain times during the week, I don’t mind if they stay up later on weekends, playing video games or streaming their favorite shows. With Family Wi-Fi features in the Google Home app, I can easily set my sons’ devices on a Wi-Fi schedule, pause the Wi-Fi to their devices at any time and block adult content on their devices. 


Hands-free help with the Google Assistant


Introducing Nest Wifi

The Nest Wifi point also has a speaker with the Google Assistant, which means it can do everything that Nest Mini can do; it’s really two devices in one. We’ve even incorporated the same speaker as Nest Mini, so you can add it to a speaker group and rock out to your favorite playlist throughout the house. 

And if you’re like me and sometimes have trouble getting your kids’ attention, just say “Hey Google, pause the Wi-Fi for Daniel.” You can also use the Assistant to get more info about your Wi-Fi network. Just say, “Hey Google, what’s my internet speed?”


Designed for your home 

Nest Wifi Point

Many routers are ugly, which means they get hidden in a closet or cabinet, where the signal is blocked and can be reduced by up to 50 percent. Nest Wifi has a beautiful design with soft, rounded edges and unobtrusive lighting. It’s meant to be placed out in the open, where it’ll perform at its best. And Nest Wifi points come in three colors, Snow, Sand and Mist, all of which will naturally blend into your home. 

Nest Wifi is built using sustainable materials. The router enclosure is made from 45 percent post-consumer recycled plastic, and the point enclosure is made from 40 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. 


Smart home support 

We also built the Nest Wifi system to provide the foundation for your future smart home devices. It has local home connectivity, which means that some devices can connect directly to the system without needing a hub, so you can easily set up the most popular lights and plugs right from the Home app. We’ll also enable Thread capabilities in the coming months to deliver secure connectivity for smart home devices like door and motion sensors, door locks and more. You’ll start seeing these devices roll out from partners in 2020.

Nest Wifi will be available in eight global markets in 2019. In the U.S., you can preorder today and Nest Wifi will be on sale on November 4. You can get a two pack with one router and one point for $269, or a three pack with one router and two points for $349 at the Google Store, Target, Best Buy and more retailers. 


Nest Mini brings twice the bass and an upgraded Assistant

It’s only been two years, but already, millions of you have received hands-free help from the Google Assistant in any room in your home, all thanks to Google Home Mini. And now, we’re bringing you the second-generation Nest Mini, which is completely re-engineered to make everything you love about the original even better. Back in May, we brought together the Google Home and Nest teams under the Google Nest brand, and Nest Mini is the next step as we build the helpful home. 

A new speaker with powerful sound

We know that people love listening to music on our Google Home and Nest smart speakers and displays. Since launching the original Google Home, people have listened to billions of hours of music on our devices. So with Nest Mini, we upgraded the hardware and software to make it sound even better, and it really brings the bass. 

Nest Mini provides bass that’s twice as strong as the original Google Home Mini (measured from 60-100 Hz at max volume). Our expert audio engineers developed proprietary audio tuning software, allowing us to get the most out of the hardware with a full, clear and natural sound at every volume level. We didn’t want to suppress any auditory details, so what you’ll hear when listening to music on Nest Mini is authentic to the artist’s vision. 

If you’re listening to music, podcasts and other types of media on Nest Mini, LED lights will light up as your hand gets close to the device, indicating where you can tap to adjust the volume. We’ve also improved Mini’s ability to hear you in noisy environments. 

And Nest Mini will dynamically adjust the volume of the Assistant, news and podcasts based on any background noise that may be happening at the time. So when the dishwasher is running and you ask for the weather, you’ll hear the Assistant’s response at a louder volume.

Whole home audio

You can connect Nest Mini to your other Nest speakers to build a sound system for your whole home. If you have more than one Google or Nest smart speaker or display, simply create as many different groups as you’d like in the Google Home app, and enjoy music, podcasts and more throughout your home. 

And with stream transfer, you can fill your home with sound by moving your music, audiobooks and podcasts from one speaker to another with just your voice. Even transfer music or podcasts from your phone when you walk in the door. For example, If I’m hosting a dinner party, once I’m done cooking in the kitchen, I just say, “Hey Google, move the music to the living room speaker” to keep the party going. 

The power of whole home audio goes beyond music, and it can be a helpful way to stay in touch with family members. With new Google Duo functionality on all Google Home and Nest speakers, you can call your devices from the Google Home app, use the intercom feature to talk from device to device or even call someone on the other side of the world, for free—all you need is a Duo account and/or a Google Home or Nest smart speaker or display.

Making the best Assistant better

You already know that your Google Assistant can help you tackle your day, enjoy your entertainment and control compatible smart home devices brands like Philips Hue, TP-Link and more. Plus, with personalized experiences like Assignable reminders and routines, the Assistant keeps getting better. 

Nest Mini is smarter and faster than the original Mini. We embedded a dedicated machine learning chip with up to one TeraOPS of processing power, which lets us move some Google Assistant experiences from our data centers directly onto the device. In the U.S., Nest Mini can now learn your most common commands and process them locally for a much faster response time.

Nest Mini materials

The fabric covering on Nest Mini is made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.

Sustainably designed for your home

Nest Mini has the same iconic design as the original Mini, with soft rounded edges that blend in with your home. It comes in four colors: Chalk, Charcoal, Coral and a new color, Sky, which was inspired by Lake Como in Italy. We’ve also incorporated wall mounting capabilities into Nest Mini, because you told us that you needed creative ways to incorporate Nest Mini into your decor and save precious counter and shelf space. 

Like so many of you, we’re committed to helping the planet, so the fabric covering on Nest Mini is made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles (meaning plastic bottles that have already been used and recycled). A single half-liter plastic bottle makes enough fabric to cover more than two Nest Mini devices. The external enclosure is also made from 35 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. Now, all Nest products launching in 2019 are built using varying amounts of recycled plastics. 

I know you’ll love rocking out with Nest Mini as much as I do. You can buy Mini for $49, and starting today, you can pre-order from the Google Store. You’ll find Nest Mini on shelves on October 22 at Best Buy, Target, Walmart and other retailers.

Once you set up Nest Mini, just say, “Hey Google, what can you do?” to get started. And once you do that, say “Hey Google, play bossa nova” and get ready to party.

Meet the new Google Pixel Buds

Many of us turn to our phones constantly. On average, people check their smartphones almost 100 times a day, and more than half of those interactions—playing a song, setting a reminder or getting directions—are less than 30 seconds. Google Pixel Buds can help make those quick tasks easier and faster, with instant access to the Google Assistant. Plus, they’re comfortable and secure in your ear, deliver high-quality sound, make clear calls, and have a long battery life. 

Comfortable and secure in your ear

Because everyone's ears are shaped differently, we scanned thousands of ears to create a design that’s comfortable for as many people as possible. Pixel Buds have a low-profile look that sits flush in your ear. The stabilizer arc gently tucks in, and together with the interchangeable eartip, make Pixel Buds fit securely and comfortably, so they stay put even when you’re exercising.

Multiple people wearing Pixel Buds

Great sound all around

Pixel Buds have a unique hybrid design that keeps you aware of the world around you, while still delivering powerful sound. The eartips gently seal the ear to isolate the loud outside noises, and to give high quality audio. The spatial vent underneath reduces that plugged-ear feeling, and lets through just the right amount of environmental sound so you can stay aware of the things around you. Pixel Buds also have Adaptive Sound, which dynamically adjusts the volume as you move from a quiet environment to a noisy one, so you don’t have to constantly raise or lower the volume.

Pixel Buds - Product GIF (1).gif

Clear calls anywhere

When it’s time to talk instead of listen, Pixel Buds make sure the sound of your voice is at the forefront. Two microphones in each earbud focus on the sound of your voice while suppressing other sounds in the background, which extends to the most challenging environments. Pixel Buds have a voice accelerometer that can detect speech through the vibrations of your jawbone, so that you can be heard even in windy conditions, like when you’re running or biking.

Convenience on the go

Long-range Bluetooth connectivity lets you use Pixel Buds even when your phone isn’t by your side. They’ll stay connected three rooms away indoors or a football field-distance away outdoors. Pixel Buds pair easily with Bluetooth 4.0+ laptops, tablets and iOS devices. And with your Pixel phone and other Android 6.0+ devices, they pair with just a single tap. 

Pixel Buds automatically detect when they’re in your ear and each earbud gives you handy touch controls: just tap to play or pause, and swipe to adjust volume. With Pixel Buds, you get 5 hours of listening time on a single charge, with up to 24 hours with the wireless charging case. They are sweat and water resistant, so rainy days and intense workouts are no problem. 

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Helpful wherever you are

Pixel Buds also give you hands-free access to the Google Assistant, so instead of turning to your phone for quick tasks, just say “Hey Google,” and ask the Assistant for whatever you need—playing a podcast, sending a quick text, or translating a foreign language.

Pixel Buds - Assistant GIF.gif

Google Pixel Buds will be available next year in the U.S. at $179, and will come in four colors: Clearly White, Oh So Orange, Quite Mint and Almost Black. In the meantime, head over to the Google Store to learn more and sign up for our waitlist to be notified when they’re available.

Hey Google, talk like Issa

Here's a trivia question for you. Which actress is also a writer and producer, started a web series on YouTube, translated common insecurities into a hit show, gives a great pep talk and makes a cameo as a voice on the Google Assistant? It's Issa Rae! 


Starting today, Issa Rae’s voice is available as a cameo on the Google Assistant, in English for a limited time in the U.S. To switch to Issa’s voice, simply say “Hey Google, talk like Issa," or go to your “Assistant voice” in Assistant Settings. You’ll then hear Issa’s voice when you ask the Assistant for things like the weather forecast or for answers to questions like, “When is the first day of winter?” You’ll also hear Issa’s voice when you’re in the mood for a joke or when you’re seeking motivation. Try asking your Assistant, “Hey Google…” 

  • “Do I need an umbrella today?”

  • “Tell me a secret.”

  • “What do you think of me?”

  • “Give me a quote from Issa Rae.”

  • “Sing a song.”

  • “Tell me a joke.”

  • Or ask, “Mirror talk” or “How do I look?” for confidence-boosting affirmations.

#TalkLikeIssa

You can even hear a few surprises—like Issa’s take when you ask, “Hey Google, do you love Daniel or Lawrence more?” or “Hey Google, tell me something awkward.” Responses to all other questions will continue to be in one of the original Assistant voices. And if you want yet another surprise, keep an eye out on the @Google Instagram channel today for a few exclusive sneak peeks into Issa’s life on set!


This is the Google Assistant’s second celebrity voice, following the melodic vocals of John Legend, made possible by the state-of-the-art speech synthesis model, WaveNet. You can get Issa’s cameo voice on any device that has the Google Assistant, including Google Home smart speakers and all Smart Displays—including the new Nest Hub Max—and on mobile for Android and iOS

Action Blocks: one tap to make technology more accessible

Think about the last time you did something seemingly simple on your phone, like booking a rideshare. To do this, you had to unlock your phone, find the right app, and type in your pickup location. The process required you to read and write, remember your selections, and focus for several minutes at a time. For the 630 million people in the world with some form of cognitive disability, it’s not that easy. So we’ve been experimenting with how the Assistant and Android can work together to reduce the complexity of these tasks for people with cognitive disabilities. 

Back at I/O, we shared how Googler Lorenzo Caggioni used the Assistant to build a device called DIVA for his brother Giovanni, who is legally blind, deaf and has Down Syndrome. DIVA makes people with disabilities more autonomous, helping them interact with the Assistant in a nonverbal way. With DIVA, Giovanni can watch his favorite shows and listen to his music on his own. 

DIVA was the starting point for Action Blocks, which uses the Google Assistant to make it easier for people who have a cognitive disability to use Android phones and tablets. With Action Blocks, you add Assistant commands to your home screen with a custom image, which acts as a visual cue.

BedtimeStory_web.gif

Use Action Blocks to create a home screen shortcut for a bedtime story.

The Action Block icon—for example, a photograph of a cab—triggers the corresponding Assistant command, like ordering a rideshare. Action Blocks can be configured to do anything the Assistant can do, in just one tap: call a loved one, share your location, watch your favorite show, control the lights and more.  

Action Blocks is the first of our many efforts to empower people with cognitive disabilities, help them gain independence, connect with loved ones and engage in the world as they are. 

The product is still in the testing phase, and if you’re the caregiver or family member of someone with a cognitive disability that could benefit, please join our trusted tester program. Follow us @googleaccess to learn more.

Game on: Your Xbox One now works with the Google Assistant

When you’re in the zone playing a video game, multitasking becomes difficult. You might miss capturing a fun in-game moment to share with friends, or forget to turn down the volume late at night.  

We think the Assistant can be a great teammate to help you stay focused on playing while still getting things done. Available in beta starting today, your Xbox One now works with the Google Assistant, letting you control your gaming experience by voice with any Google Assistant-enabled smart speaker or smart display, like the Google Nest Hub Max, or any Android mobile device.

With the new Xbox Action for the Google Assistant, you can ask the Assistant to launch a game and your console will automatically turn on and load the game so it’s ready for you to start playing. To save you even more time, you can also easily search for games by voice, so there’s no more need to use the on-screen keyboard. 

After you save humanity from the Swarm or finish a match with your friends in “Gears 5” co-op multiplayer, the Assistant is able to take a screenshot or record video of your gameplay. Just say “Hey Google, take a screenshot on Xbox,” and your favorite moment will be captured to share with friends. 

Your Assistant is also the ideal companion to help you launch media apps from your console, in case you want to finish a show or pull up some music in between games. Just try saying, “Hey Google, open Netflix on Xbox.”

The beta will be available only in English, wherever Google Assistant is supported. We hope to expand to more languages this fall with the full roll out of the experience. For a full list of commands, setup instructions, or for troubleshooting, please visit the Xbox Insider subreddit.

With Google Assistant on Xbox, we’re excited to offer an extra companion for you while gaming. We will also work with Xbox to continue to improve the experience over time, offering even more ways for you to use the Assistant while gaming on Xbox in the future.

Doing more to protect your privacy with the Assistant

We believe you should be able to easily understand how your data is used and why, so you can make choices that are right for you. Recently we’ve heard concerns about our process in which language experts can listen to and transcribe audio data from the Google Assistant to help improve speech technology for different languages. It's clear that we fell short of our high standards in making it easy for you to understand how your data is used, and we apologize.


When we learned about these concerns, we immediately paused this process of human transcription globally to investigate, and conducted a full review of our systems and controls. Now we want to share more about how audio recordings work, and some changes we’re making: 

Your audio data isn’t stored by default

By default, we don’t retain your audio recordings. This has been the case, and will remain unchanged. You can still use the Assistant to help you throughout the day, and have access to helpful features like Voice Match. 


To store your audio data, you can opt in to the Voice & Audio Activity (VAA) setting when you set up your Assistant. Opting in to VAA helps the Assistant better recognize your voice over time, and also helps improve the Assistant for everyone by allowing us to use small samples of audio to understand more languages and accents. You can view your past interactions with the Assistant, and delete any of these interactions at any time. 

Updating our audio setting 

We’re updating our settings to highlight that when you turn on VAA, human reviewers may listen to your audio snippets to help improve speech technology. If you’re an existing Assistant user, you’ll have the option to review your VAA setting and confirm your preference before any human review process resumes. We won’t include your audio in the human review process unless you’ve re-confirmed your VAA setting as on. 

More privacy protections for our transcription process

We take a number of precautions to protect data during the human review process—audio snippets are never associated with any user accounts and language experts only listen to a small set of queries (around 0.2 percent of all user audio snippets), only from users with VAA turned on. Going forward, we’re adding greater security protections to this process, including an extra layer of privacy filters. 

Automatically deleting more audio data

The Assistant already immediately deletes any audio data when it realizes it was activated unintentionally—e.g., by a noise that sounds like “Hey Google.” We understand it’s important to get this right, and will continue to focus on this area, including implementing additional measures to help us better identify unintentional activations and exclude them from the human review process. Soon we’ll also add a way to adjust how sensitive your Google Assistant devices are to prompts like “Hey Google,” giving you more control to reduce unintentional activations, or if you’d prefer, make it easier for you to get help in especially noisy environments.

One of the principles we strive toward is minimizing the amount of data we store, and we’re applying this to the Google Assistant as well. We’re also updating our policy to vastly reduce the amount of audio data we store. For those of you who have opted in to VAA, we will soon automatically delete the vast majority of audio data associated with your account that’s older than a few months. This new policy will be coming to VAA later this year. 

We believe in putting you in control of your data, and we always work to keep it safe. We’re committed to being transparent about how our settings work so you can decide what works best for you. To check your current settings and learn more about the controls available, visit the “Your data in the Assistant” page.

New voices for your Google Assistant in nine countries

One of the ways to personalize your Google Assistant is to choose its voice. As we’ve brought the Assistant to more languages—we’ve gone from eight in 2017 to more than 30 today—we’ve developed new voices in as many of those languages as possible.

You can already choose between 11 English voices here in the U.S. (including John Legend), and today, we’re launching a new voice in nine more languages: German, French, Dutch, Norwegian, Italian, Korean, Japanese, English in the U.K. or English in India. All the new voices rolling out this week were built with DeepMind’s state-of-the-art WaveNet technology which make them sound natural, with great pitch and pacing. 

If you go into your Settings in the Assistant app, you can select from the different voices available. You’ll notice that we have a pretty unique way of displaying these voices too; the voices are displayed by color, rather than gender. We’ve learned that people enjoy choosing between voices to find the one that sounds right to them, and we think it’s important to present these voices to you without any labels.

Assistant voices

We’re also trying to help more people experiment with the different voices too. If you live in one of the countries that’s getting a new voice, you’ll notice that we randomly assign you a voice when you first set up your Assistant, giving you a 50/50 chance of getting one of two voices—either the “red” voice or the “orange” voice. 

A lot of people are surprised to learn that they don’t always stick with the voice they’ve been using, so give it a shot. You might just find one that sounds even better than the one you’ve been using.