Google Assistant is getting a big update this month

Google Assistant is getting a number of new features across its range of smart displays and smartphones at the end of this month, allowing users to access the assistant faster and enjoy improved integration across Google's smart devices.

Google will be rolling out a major software update at the end of October for Google Assistant devices. All compatible smart displays - including the JBL Link View and Lenovo Smart Display, as well as the newly announced Google Home Hub - will now feature multi-room audio capability, meaning they can connect to a wider group of speakers for playing sound throughout the house.

On the phone side, Google Assistant will soon be accessible from the phone's lockscreen - if you choose to opt in to the feature, of course - meaning you can ask Google to check your unread emails or upcoming calendar events that bit quicker without having to unlock your phone. There's also a new overview designed to pull together relevant notes, lists, and reminders when you pull up the assistant's 'visual snapshot' for the day.

Smartphone users will find they can add items to multiple shopping lists, while integration with Google Keep's dedicated note-taking features is also soon to come.

It's all coming up Google 

It's been a big week for Google, with its October launch event bringing official word of a Google Home Hub smart display to take on Amazon's Echo Show, as well as a fleet of new Pixel 3 phones for the premium handset owners out there.

But the one thing connecting all of these new products is Google Assistant, Google's AI software offering a voice-activated interface between all their devices. 

Though widely considered to be a more consistently reliable factual source than competing smart assistants, Google has struggled to build up the momentum seen by Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, which came to market several months prior. Both Amazon and Google are attempting to iterate fast enough to stay ahead of the competition, but by building on connectivity and UI features, could Google Assistant be about to turn things around?

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.