Google Assistant’s Ambient Mode turns Android devices into smart displays

In September, Google announced its Ambient Mode feature for Google Assistant, which shows useful information right on your lock screen when your Android phone or tablet is plugged in.

The proactive Assistance experience on your phone or tablet whenever it is connected to charger.

The app could actually tell you when you will be having your next meeting, how long your distance will be from your precise location and let you turn off the lights as you are going to go out, all from your lock screen.

Uses of  Google Assistant’s Ambient

Right now users can do most things with their smartphones, but it requires a bit of mental bandwidth to figure out hey, I need to accomplish this task so let me backtrack and figure out what are all the steps that i need to do in order to get there.

  • Now you can with one tap set you alarm.
  • You can look at what time is your first meeting the next day.
  • You can turn off the light.
  • You can also have a slideshow of your personal memories show up so that you can  actually browser all of them.
  • A new Ambient Mode for the Google Assistant turns your phone/tablet into a makeshift Smart Display.
  • Google’s bringing the Assistant to more headphones, from brands like JBL, Bose, and others.
  • The Assistant is also expanding to speakers and soundbars.

Why is this not just the Nest Hub software? There are many possible explanations:

  1. One explanation is that the software that powers the Nest Hub and similar devices won’t run well on a full Android device. Thus far, we’ve seen devices based on Google’s Cast platform and Android Things but not full Android.
  2. It’s possible that this is part of a larger trend of Assistant taking over more features that used to be handled by other software that Google makes.

Although Ambient Mode on Google Assistant replicates some of a Google Nest Hub’s functionality, it’s not exactly the same thing. Instead, it does the stuff listed above in an interface that’s noticeably different from the Nest Hub.

This experience will be available on select devices on Android O or above.