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Google Assistant Getting ‘Family Bell’ Alarms, Enhanced Broadcast Feature

Google Family Bell can be programmed through Assistant on any compatible phone.

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Google Assistant Getting ‘Family Bell’ Alarms, Enhanced Broadcast Feature

Google Family Bell includes suggested bells for activities like recess, nap time and math time

Highlights
  • Google Family Bell allows you to customise alarms for activities
  • It can be used through smart speakers or smart displays
  • Google Home or Assistant can be used to set alarms

Google Assistant is getting a host of new and useful feature that aims to make the life of students and their family easier amidst these uncertain times. These new features include Google Family Bell that is a new alarm-like feature to help families manage school from home. Bell reminders can announce when it's time for activities such as online classes, breaks, reading time, bedtime, and more. This can be set up on any mobile device with Google Assistant or the Google Home app. With schools being shifted to laptop and phone screens, it is getting harder to keep track of various activities. Family Bell aims to smoothen this process, enabling families to stay on top of their schedules. Starting yesterday, August 5, Family Bell is being rolled out in India, Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US.

Family Bell by Google can be programmed through the Google Assistant app on the phone. With this feature, you can customise alerts that will act as reminders to someone in the household to do a certain activity. The app suggests bells for activities such as recess, nap time, and math time. The bells can be created and managed on Assistant-enabled Android and iOS phones to play on either smart speakers or smart displays. Users can choose which days the alarm should ring, and which smart device it should chime from.

An already existing feature on Google Assistant is the ability to broadcast and reply to messages around the house. Google is also set to enhance this feature by allowing you to broadcast to a specific room or device, making communication easier. For example, if you're in the dining room, you can broadcast to your daughter's room, reminding her that dinner is ready.

There will also be an Animal of the Day feature that will provide facts about different animals every day, provide the sound the animal makes, and throw up challenges for drawing the animal. You can also set up a feature to show certain visuals on smart displays when you say something, if you wish to set up a school-like atmosphere.
“The balancing act of working, parenting and schooling at home continues, and as it does, we hope these new tools will help keep your family on track in your new routine,” said Google in a statement while announcing the feature in a blog post. Family Bell is currently available only in English. All you need to set it up is a speaker or smart display, and a mobile device with Google Assistant or the Google Home app.

Gadgets 360 couldn't spot Family Bell on Google Home and Assistant yet.
To check if it's available for you, and to set up a alarm, follow these steps: open Google Home app on your Android phone/tablet. Tap on your profile picture on the top right corner and click on Assistant settings > Family Bell. Tap on Add a Bell and enter the announcement details. Finally, click on Create new bell. You'll get a notification on your mobile device when a bell is announced. You can read further instructions on setting up Family Bell on Google's support website.


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Tanishka Sodhi Tanishka Sodhi is a sub-editor at Gadgets 360. As a journalist, she has covered education, culture, and media and mental health. She is interested in the intersection of technology and culture, and its impact on everyday lives. Tanishka is a staunch advocate of gender equality, and the correct use of commas. You can get in touch with her via Twitter at @tanishka_s2 or drop a mail at tanishkas@ndtv.com. More
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