While things may not still be back to “normal”, life goes on and that includes going back to school for a lot of kids in the next few weeks. Whether they will be in face-to-face sessions or still on hybrid learning, Google is now bringing new tools, or rather, updated tools on its Assistant and Search platforms. This includes improved features and access on Family Bell, new Harry Potter universe and also more diverse books that Assistant can read to kids, and a new tool on Search to help kids learn chemistry.
Family Bell was introduced last year so you can create reminders and announcements for various schedules like the start of a class, family dinner, and various chores throughout the day. Previously it was only available for smart speakers and smart displays but in several weeks, you can also hear it on mobile devices. This should make it easier to manage and hear wherever you are as long as you have your mobile device with you.
Soon it will also let you customize bells that will start a checklist on your Nest Hub so kids can see what they need to do or finish. A checklist can include things like get dressed, make up your bed, brush your teeth, etc. When a task is completed there will be some celebratory animations and sounds on the display. Grown-ups can also use this to make sure they finish their morning routine as soon as they
dismiss an alarm.
Google has partnered with Pottermore Publishing and soon there will be even more stories from the Harry Potter universe. Just say “Hey Google, tell me a Fantastic Beasts Story” and Google Assistant will read you audiobook highlights. They have also partnered with The English Schoolhouse, “an award-winning Black woman-owned publishing house” to bring more diverse stories that Assistant can read out to your kids.
Meanwhile for older kids who need to learn chemistry, Search has a new interactive periodic table with Augmented Reality and 3D models. This is just one of the tools that Google has been adding to search to help students learn using interactive technology.