A little more than a week ago, we passed along the word that Google was widening the rollout of Google Assistant's Ambient Mode
for Android phones. A pretty nifty feature, this essentially turns your handset into a smart speaker without the need for a spellbook, a cauldron or a magic wand. When Ambient Mode is enabled, all you need to do is plug your phone into an outlet to turn it into a digital photo frame. In this mode you can also control smart appliances; stream and control music; get the latest news, sports, weather, stocks, and more.
UPDATE:Google disseminated a tweet today revealing which Android phone manufacturers will start to receive Assistant Ambient mode when it starts rolling out next week. In the tweet, Google wrote that this new feature will first be found on "Sony Xperia, Nokia, Transsion, and Xiaomi phones first, along with select Lenovo tablets running Android 8.0 or newer."
In Ambient Mode, Google Assistant will show you the current weather, and any appointments scheduled for the day (via Google Calendar). Arvind Chandrababu, the product manager of Google Assistant says that with this feature Android users are moving from an "app-based way of doing things to an intent-based way of doing things." Ambient Mode is deeply integrated into the Android operating system says Chandrabubu. He adds that Google has more proactive experiences planned for its virtual digital helper.
"Right now users can do most things with their smartphones, but it requires quite a bit of mental bandwidth to figure out hey, I need to accomplish this task so let me backtrack and figure out what are all the steps I need to do in order to get there. Now you can with one tap set your alarm, You can look at what time is your first meeting the next day, you can turn off the light, and you can also have a slideshow of your personal memories show up so that you can actually browse all of them."-Arvind Chandrababu, project manager, Google Assistant
Ambient Mode will eventually be available on phones running Android 8.0 and higher. Google will let you know when it arrives on your device by showing you some pages containing some of the mode's features along with prompts allowing you to turn it on.
You'll know when Google Assistant Ambient Mode appears on your Android phone