Jim’s WebLetter for 4/29/17

Hi-ya mobile device user!

If you own an Android phone or tablet, you’ve undoubtedly heard of and may have at least tried Google Assistant, the newest addition to the lineup of features offered on Google devices. There is a version available for Apple iPhone and iPad when you download the Google Search app. Just say, “OK Google” to activate it.

But this week, I want to talk about Google Assistant on Android.

Like Siri on Apple, Google’s Assistant will open apps and set calendar dates or open apps on your device. For instance, I was on the floor trying to find something under the couch. Instead of looking for the flashlight, I grabbed my phone and said, “Ok, Google, turn on flashlight”. Assistant answered by telling me, “alright, turning on flashlight” and the bright light came on illuminating everything. Instead of trying to find the button to turn it off, I simply said, “OK Google, turn off the flashlight”.  

All this is an sample of where we are going with artificial intelligence which will eventually inhabit every aspect of our lives. I realize saying it like that may sound a bit daunting, but having a system that is available at your command means you are freed up to do other things. Time saving features are what we look for.

To set up Assistant, launch it by long pressing the Home Button and tap the menu icon in the top-right corner of the Google Assistant window.  Then tap Settings. Inside you will find home control, news selections Assistant will read to you, a “My Day” feature where you can plan your day’s activities, and create a shopping list. You can make Assistant personalized, calling you by your nickname (no, it’s not true that my Assistant calls me “Great Supreme Commander, Lord Jim”).  

With Assistant, get answers to such questions as, “How many square feet are in an acre?” or, “What’s the square root of 2,341?” or, “How much do I tip for $63?”. You can ask “How do I say, ‘No sugar in my coffee’ in Spanish?” When you park your car, tell Google where you parked and it will remember when you say, “Google, I parked in Lot 3 section 4S”. If you get lost, say, “OK Google, where am I”?

Several functions work on all Google Assistant-enabled devices, including setting your alarm, checking traffic conditions, getting weather alerts, translating words into other languages, and more. But it only works if you give it a try.

Technology is available for us to use. Take advantage of it. Try things out and see where it leads. You just might discover something new and completely useful, then you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
That’s it this week. Have a great weekend and may God bless you and keep you safe.


Jim’s WebLetter

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