10 things to do on Smart Display with Google Assistant
Google Assistant + Smart display is = a great Sous-chef.
Over the last couple of years, you’ve been able to talk to the Google Assistant to get things done. Voice assistants are getting more helpful than ever. For instance, Google Assistant can tell you the latest weather, traffic and meeting schedules, by simply asking. Much more than a smart speaker, Smart Display, a new category of devices for the smart home that brings the Google Assistant to an interactive screen for a richer visual experience designed to comfortably watch music videos, follow recipes, manage your calendar, and more — all while sporting a modern design that fits perfectly into nearly any room in the home. Lenovo Smart Display is the first in a new smart home category with the Google Assistant built in, combining all the capabilities of a smart speaker with a touchscreen.
Smart Display does everything a smart speaker does and so much more. Since, Smart Displays have the same Google Assistant built-in as Google Home, you can do everything Google Home can do with the Lenovo Smart Display. Beyond that, read through to see the ways Lenovo’s Display enhances Google Assistant with its screen. The added bonus of sight and sound really helps save time and makes it much easier to get things done at home.
Simply put, it’s like upgrading from the radio to a TV.
So, you’re paying more than you would for a regular Assistant speaker, but there’s a whole new visual experience for Assistant. Your daily brief can include visual elements like the weather or calendar appointments. Instead of sending links to web content, the Smart Display can just show you on the screen. Likewise, you can stream your Assistant-enabled security cameras right on the device instead of relying on an external screen someplace in the house.
Smart Display units also bring entirely new functionality to Assistant like hands-free video calling. When looking for music, you can have the Smart Display show you playlists for easier selection.
With the Google Assistant built in, the Lenovo Smart Display brings you the best of Google services, including Maps, YouTube, Calendar, Duo and Photos, in a visual and helpful way. The most fascinating thing about adding a display to the Google Assistant is that
Google is taking that as an opportunity to evolve how it answers questions.
To take the most obvious example: if you ask a how-to question like “How do I darn socks?” you’re likely to get a YouTube video instead of a snippet from a website. This is tightly integrated into the Google ecosystem. It grabs YouTube videos. It uses Google’s web snippets. It serves as an amazing kitchen TV if you’re a YouTube TV subscriber. It knows what your reminders are and where your wedding was(from your google photos location). It’s very much a device that aspires to give you answers instead of web links.
Here are some great things you can do with your Assistant on Smart Displays:
Enjoy music, news and podcasts
Smart Displays offer a rich experience for enjoying music, news, podcasts or audiobooks from popular services. With the combination of voice and a screen, it’s easy to browse and find that perfect song, album, or playlist. Its 10W speaker can really fill up a room with sound. Here are a few things you can do:
- Stream your favorite music with YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, and Pandora, with free tier available for all services
- Stay informed with Google News, including the latest video news briefs featuring national and local publishers like CNBC, CBS, and Cheddar
- Jam to your favorite radio stations with iHeartRadio and TuneIn
- Catch up on your favorite podcasts with Google Podcasts
- Or listen to audiobooks from Google Play Books. With audiobooks or podcasts, your Assistant will pick up right where you left off, even if you were listening on your phone earlier.
Play videos and watch TV
Ask YouTube to play anything: how-to videos, cooking videos, product reviews, you name it! And, with every Smart Display, you get three free months of YouTube Premium (for new subscribers).
If you have a YouTubeTV, you can enjoy live or recorded TV in your library, no remote control necessary. The next time you want to turn on the game, you can say “Hey Google, watch ESPN” to start streaming. Many other popular video services are supported too, including HBO Now, Google Play Movies & TV and Crackle.
Browse recipes and get step-by-step cooking guidance. Visual recipes on demand. A great sous-chef.
Your Assistant can even help you prepare a great meal on Smart Displays. Browse through thousands of recipes with the full list of ingredients, then the Assistant can provide step-by-step hands-free guidance on screen. And, you can set timers and play music while you cook.
What’s helpful is you can pause as you go with just your voice — never losing your place again or dirtying the screen when your hands are covered in sauce.
Get answers, manage your day, and stick to your routines
Google Assistant Routines makes it even easier to stay on top of your day using your Smart Display. Just say “Hey Google, good morning” to get a verbal and visual summary of the weather, traffic to work, reminders, your agenda and then If you’ve a video source in your daily news briefing, it will play that video before moving on to the audio updates.
Keep in touch with loved ones with Hands-free video calling
With video calling on Google Duo, you can instantly connect with your closest friends and family on Smart Displays. Duo is also built in on Android phones and available on iOS, so you can call your friends and family hands-free across devices. Just say, “Hey Google, call Rachel” to start a high-quality video or audio call.
Control your smart home
Google Assistant connects with over 5,000 smart devices, including security systems and your Nest Cam. Just ask “Hey Google, show me the family/kids room” to check on things with the Nest Cam. Turn up/down the thermostat, dim the lights or change the color — all with your voice or a simple touch screen control.
More useful Google definitions (like upgrading from the radio to TV)
“Hey Google, what is a kohlrabi?”
“According to Wikipedia™, kohlrabi is a biennial vegetable, a low, stout cultivar of wild cabbage…”
Often times answers are much better seen than heard. You can also ask the Google Assistant to show you anything on the Lenovo Smart Display: ask for French restaurants nearby, and Google Maps™ will help you discover some local suggestions in the neighborhood.
You can shop on the display using Google Express. You’ll need to set up voice recognition in the Google Home app to authorize any purchases. You can even create and manage a shopping list on your Smart Display and bring up your list on your phone when you’re at the grocery store. Or, avoid the trip and order a delivery with Google Express from your favorite stores like Costco, Target and Walmart
Best handoff. Send recipes/driving directions to your smartphone
You can use your phone to send recipes to the smart display. You do that with the “Send to Google Home” button pictured.
After searching for a restaurant on the Smart Display, you can also send driving directions to your phone.
Relive your memories
The Smart Display is also a perfect device to enjoy Google Photos. When you’re not using your Smart Display, the screen can serve as an always-on digital photo album from Google Photos or ambient screen has options for simple clean digital clock, Facebook photos or scenic stock photos. You can add the time and current weather to any of the ambient screens. And you can just ask the Assistant whenever you want to see specific pictures of a family vacation or other special moments with the important people in your life.
And for all those privacy nerds, here is the best thing
Simple and elegant with Privacy
On the side of smart display, a switch moves a physical shutter in front of the camera in case you want privacy. So, you feel more comfortable putting a smart speaker in bedroom, knowing the camera is covered. Both models round out to a kickstand on one side, but are otherwise thin. On the top, you’ll find a slider that mutes the microphone and volume controls.
Lenovo Smart Display is available in two display sizes and colors:
- 8-inch HD version for $199.99
- 10-inch Full-HD version for $249.99,
Grab it on shelves or online at Walmart, BestBuy.com, Amazon.com, Costco.com, SamsClub.com, Lenovo.com and other stores. If this smart display doesn’t strike your fancy, there are more on the way. Google is working with other partners like JBL and LG to create more Assistant screens.
Lenovo Smart Display 10-inch model (with bamboo rear finish) is $50 off for Costco members, bringing the price down to $199. This not only puts it at the same cost as the eight-inch model, but it’s also $30 cheaper than its main rival: the Amazon Echo Show.
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