Google has been ramping up efforts to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic that has infected over a half-a-million people around the world. From launching a coronavirus-awareness website to offering $800 million to pandemic-impacted businesses, Google has now added a COVID-19 alert card on the Google Assistant snapshot on Android and it is essentially a hub of information for the coronavirus outbreak. The Assistant snapshot can be accessed by opening the Google Assistant app or by clicking the Google logo present on the Google search bar on mobile devices. Meanwhile, a report has also claimed that Google is working on new features for the Google Assistant.
Through this snapshot, Google is offering a variety of options featuring news, symptoms, work from home tips, reminder to wash hands, and more. After clicking on a pertinent option, the Google Assistant further redirects users to a separate page. In this page, users can finally read information about the aforementioned options that they selected.
This information hub can be further dismissed by selecting "Don't show this card again" present on the COVID-19 drop-down menu. Recently, Google launched a United States-focused website with information about coronavirus guidance and testing, after the country witnessed a rise in pandemic-related cases. Google has also pledged $800 million worth of support to the health organisations, researchers and businesses impacted by the crisis. CEO Sundar Pichai has said that Google will "help our communities to navigate the challenges ahead."
Meanwhile, another report by 9to5Google has highlighted that Google is reportedly working on a new feature for the Google Assistant. The feature, Assistant Shortcuts was spotted in the APK teardown of Google app 11.3 by 9to5Google. The report speculates that with the said feature, Google will enable users to create shortcuts for apps such as Google and YouTube using their voice. However, 9to5Google was unable to fully test the feature as it appears to be in the testing stage.