Google Assistant has received an update that allows users to broadcast their voice to any room in a house containing an Assistant-enabled smart speaker. The feature was announced during Google’s hardware event last month, and now it’s officially rolling out.
The broadcast function lets people send out their voice using either their smartphone or another Google Home device. You can broadcast custom messages, or have the Assistant announce automated “playful messages” and sounds. Saying “Ok Google, broadcast it’s dinner time” will, for example, play a dinner bell through all the connected speakers. You could also say “Ok Google, broadcast/shout/tell/announce…” then add your own message.
All devices must be signed onto the same Wi-Fi network, and at least one member of the household has to be signed in to each of the Google Home speakers. They should be updated to firmware version 1.26.9393 and have Do Not Disturb turned off.
As long as you’re signed into the same Google account on your phone, it’s possible to broadcast to the speakers remotely, letting you inform the entire household that you’ve left the grocery store and are on the way home.
Unlike Amazon’s family of Echo speakers, the broadcast feature is a one-way system, meaning it can’t be used as a two-way home intercom. But Google could add this functionality in a future update.
Broadcasting is now available to Assistant on phones and speakers with English language settings in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Google said that more languages will be added soon.