Google Assistant is getting a bunch of new features in 2020

Google Assistant
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

For the last couple of years, Google has been using CES as a platform to announce new Assistant features and this year was no different. With no new hardware to show off the focus was instead on Google Assistant, with the list of new features coming this year looking quite impressive.

Since its debut in 2016, Google Assistant has built a pretty good repertoire of uses – it's no longer just a voice assistant that tells you what the weather is like. And, in 2020, it will do way more than turn your lights on and off.

To make it simple for you, we've broken it all down into an easy list so you can check for updates in the next few months.

Quicker, easier smart home setup: When setting up a new smart device through the gadget's companion app, you usually need to enter your Google credentials to connect it to your Home setup. A new update will remove that step, instead showing a notification or "suggestion button" which will easily complete the setup without the need to reenter your login details.

Setting up scheduled actions: You can't get Google Assistant to wake you up with the kettle already boiling or the coffee machine already buzzing. However, at some point this year you will be able to say "Hey Google, run the coffee machine at 6am" the previous night. With Scheduled Actions you will be able to set up run time of a compatible device at a time of your choosing.

More smart home devices: If you thought there weren't enough Google Assistant-enabled devices already, many more brands are getting on board, including August Smart Locks, Philips Hue, GE and much more. You'll also be able to control 20 more new devices through the Google Home app, including air conditioners, air purifiers, coffee makers and much more.

Leaving notes: If you find that you're leaving Post-it notes for your family members around the house for them to find, Google Assistant will take over that chore for you. Some time in 2020, Assistant will be able to create a sticky note on any compatible smart display that will be visible to anyone in the house without needing to sign into a Google account. They can even be created without the need for a Google account.

Speed dial: Later this year, you'll be able to add important contacts to a "speed dial" list so that anyone in the home can make calls quickly and easily using compatible smart displays or speakers. All they need to say is "Hey Google, call [name]" and off they go.

Reading online content: While Assistant can be set up to read your texts out to you, reading long-form content is a skill it is still to acquire. However, that's about to change in 2020, with Google announcing that Android users will be able to say "Hey Google, read this page" to get Assistant to read out a full webpage. In fact, Google promises that Assistant will even be intelligent enough to recognize that page elements like social sharing buttons are to be left out.

Deleting Assistant history: Google wants you to know that your privacy is important. This year, a simple command like "Hey Google, delete everything I said to you this week" will clear user history. Any accidental triggers – like when Assistant wakes up because of something said on the TV – can now be deleted as well by saying "Hey Google, that wasn't for you".

Android TV support: This year, starting with some Hisense and TCL tellies, some TV models will be getting far-field mic support so you can use your smart TV exactly like you would a smart speaker or display. In fact, this year you'll also be able to buy Samsung smart TVs with Google Assistant built-in.

Check out all of TechRadar's CES 2020 coverage. We're live in Las Vegas to bring you all the breaking tech news and launches, plus hands-on reviews of everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.