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Google Assistant’s new Ambient Mode brings WhatsApp voice and video call support


Google announced a new Ambient Mode for Assistant at IFA 2019. The new mode will be arriving on a few Android phones and tablets that will essentially convert these devices into displays similar to that of a Google Nest Hub. Additionally, the company also announced that users can now use Assistant to make voice and video calls on the WhatsApp Android app.

The new Ambient Mode on Google Assistant turns Android devices into Google Nest Hub-like displays. Image: Google.

When the supported devices are docked, it will be able to display weather, calendar information, notifications, reminders, music control and smart home device control in an interface similar to a Google Nest Hub. In the idle mode, the display turns into a digital photo frame showcasing all your photos from your Google Photos account.

For now, Google said in a blog post that Ambient Mode is supported on the newly announced Lenovo Smart Tab M8 HD and Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab. For phones, it’s supported on the new Nokia 7.2 and 6.2.

We don’t know whether Ambient Mode requires some special hardware or software (like stock Android) for a device to support it. However, this feature would be a useful addition and we would like to see it arrive on all Android devices.

Google also announced Assistant arriving on a bunch of devices including smart speakers, smart displays, headphones, and TVs.

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