Launched back with the first Google Pixel in the old days of 2016 and now available to any Android Phone running Android 6.0 or higher and even on iOS, Google Assistant is one of those things that every conference planner should learn to use because it will make your life easier. For reals people. For reals. There is nothing better than being in the car and saying “OK Google, get me directions to the Anaheim Convention Center” or sitting at your desk and saying “Hey Google, when is my next meeting” and getting a reply that is actually useful.
Using a smart assistant is the smart thing to do because your little friend can help you remember things, talk to a client in another country, find out when the conference VIP is landing, and get the skinny about rain on your literal parade. Oh, and before you Siri people get all snippy at me, Siri is good too. Just not Google good. And Samsung has Bixby. It’s OK, but again, not Google good. Amazon Alexa is really good but that is a topic for another post cause we are using Amazon Alexa for a lot of things event related.
I have to admit, even as a tech-centric person, I was not the first in my circle to use any virtual assistant to its full potential. I started off with directions. Ask and bang, off I go. Next, I graduated to the news. Then it was like having a sip of whiskey and ending up in New Orleans three days later. Once I realized that everything that Google creates is connected to the assistant, I was hooked. And I mean everything is connected. Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Translate, Google Photos. Heck, you can even turn on and off the Bluetooth and WiFi on your phone just by asking.
Googs can handle most anything we meeting peeps can throw at it. Here are some of our conference team’s favorite Google Assistant Actions and some that we are waiting anxiously for. Remember, everything starts with “OK Google” or “Hey Google”:
Just say “OK Google, remind me to drink a glass of water at 4:15 pm” or “Hey Google, remind me to check on the room drop at 8:00 pm” and boom, you will be reminded.
Say you just landed in Europe and it is 10 Kilometers to the hotel. Being an American, we have no idea how reality works so we do everything the opposite of everyone else. Simply say “Hey Google, How many miles is 10 Kilometers” and you can remain in blissful ignorance of how the rest of the world measures anything.
Build a Shopping List
Events and conferences need stuff bought and your cat needs food. Google can add anything to a shopping list that you can access as needed.
Check Flight Schedules
Have a VIP coming in tomorrow? Have Google check the flight schedule for you. It works by going through your email (its OK, don’t panic) and getting the flight info. You can say things like “OK Google, when does Robert Smiths flight come in” and if you have that info saved in your email or calendar, it will let you know.
Learn About Destinations
You can ask Google Assistant all about any destination you might be planning on for an event or conference. Things like population, elevation, what are the best restaurants, and on, and on. Just ask…
Get the latest news and weather
This one is simply “OK Google, tell me the news” or “Hey Google, what will the weather be tomorrow”. Knowing can be handy if you don’t have a rain plan!
This is coming and is somewhat already here. Soon, you will be able to say “OK Google, be my Spanish Translator” and it will translate everything you say. Since this is not ready for primetime yet, you can always use Google Translate App which takes just a few more taps.
Again, this is another no-brainer “OK Google, Play the Clash” and start jamming.
Google Image Search
This one is a little weird but here it is. Point your camera at something and Google will identify it (Google Lens is in Google Assistant)… So, you could point your camera at a car and Google could tell you the make and model. This one is good but needs to be gooderer, it is fun to play with though.
Send Texts and Make Calls
Yes, you can ask Googs to call a colleague or text the AV guy. It also works quite nicely with Hangouts, WhatsApp, and other third party messaging apps.
So, those are just a few of the reasons that we love Google Assistant. You can become really good, really fast, because this is not like learning the law or how to be a surgeon. Check out this recent post from PC Magazine with essential tips and tricks. This is one of the best posts we have come across for really using Googs to it’s full potential.
And finally, here is a little video from Google, when you are done with this, you can go and check out our post on tips and tricks for Google Chrome.