Google is adding notifications to the Google Home, letting its assistant keep you posted on the things you need to know and get around to doing.
The feature, called “proactive assistance” will will be pretty basic at first. You’ll get reminders, flight status updates, and traffic alerts — and it sounds like not much more.
The bare-bones start suggests that Google is concerned about getting this right the first time, rather than risking a notification overload that gets users to mute all alerts straight away.
The Google Home will be pretty subtle about presenting notifications, too. The device won’t make a sound — instead, it’ll just light up the Home’s top lights, spinning them around in a circle to let owners know that something is pending. (The ability to customize notifications and have a sound play will come later on.) Owners will be able to hear their notifications by asking Google, “What’s up?”
Google’s announcement comes just a day after Amazon said notifications would come to Alexa and the Echo in “the coming months.” But it sounds like the two companies are taking different approaches: Google is starting very small, while Amazon appears to be calling on all developers and widely opening up the ability to send notifications. We’ll see which drives us crazier soon.
It’s not clear yet when notifications will begin to roll out.