+ Sunday August 18th, 2019

If you’re a smart home parent, or maybe it’s easier herding cats than organising your housemates, coordinating everything by our phones is almost a given these days. Whether its the groceries, picking up the kids, or reminding people to take out the bin, digital assistants are here to help.

Google has created Assignable Reminders in Google Assistant to help even further, allowing users to create reminders and assign them to users of the household.

This means you can now create reminders for your partner or roommate to do things like pick up the groceries, pay a recurring bill, walk the dog—or send them a note of encouragement when they need it the most (“Hey Google, remind Mary that she will do great on tomorrow’s exam.”)

While the feature has been announced today, it’ll become available in the next couple of weeks for English-speaking Assistant users, across the US, UK and Australia. It will be available on smart speakers, Smart Displays and the Google Nest Hub Max when it’s released later in the spring.

To assign a reminder, ask your Assistant, “Hey Google, remind Greg to take out the trash at 8pm.” Greg will get a notification on both his Assistant-enabled Smart Display and phone when the reminder is created, so that it’s on his radar. Greg will get notified again at the exact time you asked your Assistant to remind him. You can even quickly see which reminders you’ve assigned to Greg, simply by saying, “Hey Google, what are my reminders for Greg?”

Here’s how it looks:

This feature will also work for location-based reminders with a specific address or landmark. For example, if you want to remind Claire to pick up flowers—and you don’t know the exact time she’ll be going shopping—just say, “Hey Google, remind Claire to pick up flowers when she gets into Chatswood.” The Assistant will then create a reminder that will pop-up for Claire when the Assistant recognizes that she has arrived in Chatswood.

You can send and receive reminders only from people who are in your Google family group or those who have their accounts linked to the same Smart Display or speaker as you and are Voice Matched. The recipient must also be in a senders’ Google Contacts. For parents who want to give their kids access to the Assistant on Google Home, you can create an account for kids under 13 (or the applicable age in your country) through Family Link, then link their Google Account and voice to Google Home. In addition, you have the control to block anyone from sending you reminders at any time through the new Assignable reminders section in Assistant Settings.

The feature isn’t live yet, but keep an eye out for it in coming weeks.

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Perfect timing. Just swapped my GSuite account to standard Gmail so I can use reminders again and use the Google Home as intended with family functionality. I should have done this sooner.

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