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Google Assistant can now be activated from the lock screen

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Google announced a bunch of new hardware at its Made By Google event earlier this week, but it notably skimmed over updates to Google Assistant that will power the new Pixel 3 and Home Hub smart display. Today, the company is making a number of these software improvements.

New features coming on mobile include faster access to activating Assistant without having to manually unlock and a new visual overview of your day, which you can access by swiping up after the “Hey, Google” command. This overview will show you recent notes, event recommendations, and important reminders. The enhancements build on a recent visual update that makes fonts and graphics bolder and larger, and they add touch controls to let you fine-tune the results of your voice commands.

There are also new features coming to Google Assistant smart displays, including the JBL Link View and Lenovo Smart Display, which can now be added to speaker groups and contribute to multiroom audio. Finally, the Google Home app can now be used to bring Google’s digital wellbeing initiative to smart displays, allowing you to have them wind down at the end of the day or show you your screen usage.

These are all updates that should make Google Assistant easier to launch and look, regardless of whether you opt to buy one of the new Google smart displays, or at least better incorporate the displays into your current home setup if you do.