Google Home gets a ton of new actions for news, health, and ordering pizza

Google Home gets a ton of new actions for news, health, and ordering pizza
Google didn't announce its developer tools for Actions on Google too long ago, but it had obviously been working with key partners to have goodies ready for Google Home users soon after that announcement because there are a bunch of new actions available. Now, you can have a conversation with Home and get services from big names like Food Network and NPR.

To use these new Actions, you'll start by asking your Google Home to "talk to" or "ask" different services for info. This means you can say "OK, Google, ask CNBC for the latest headlines" and get a news update. If CNBC isn't what you want, you can also ask NPR, the Wall Street Journal, HuffPost, NBC News, or VentureBeat for news. You can talk to WebMD if you want to make sure that your headache won't kill you. You can order a pizza from Dominos, get recipe help from Food Network, or drink suggestions from The Bartender; manage tasks with Todoist or Wonder; get movie or TV recommendations; learn Spanish; or play various games. 

There are a lot of options already and you can find the whole list and how to activate them in the Settings tab for your Home device in the Google Home app. However, we're curious how often many of the Actions will be used. The value of asking for news headlines makes sense, but the games feel more like a gimmick that you might pull out rarely to show people what Home can do. The so-called "psychotherapist" Eliza is little more than a dumb chatbot that you might have found on the early web. Still, as a first set of Actions, it's pretty impressive and shows a lot of promise for the future of Google Home. 

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5 Comments

1. android1234

Posts: 203; Member since: Feb 09, 2010

About time! I love my Google Home, and getting its full potential is exciting. Im still waiting for more Smarthome integration, specifically TP-Link, and more

4. jacksmith21006

Posts: 68; Member since: Nov 03, 2015

"About time!" The Google Home was released on Nov 6th so about 5 weeks ago. To release a new version with this many features 5 weeks after releasing is simply insane. I have a technical background and yes on bug fixes but new features would be 1 year or maybe 6 months. Not 5 weeks! But glad you posted because it shows the expectations today. Google is partially to blame as they are partially responsible for setting such an expectation. When the Echo was released I do not remember a "new feature" as big as this coming as quickly. I also do not remember anyone writing "About time!". So it is definitely more of an expectation from Google.

5. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I am happy with my Google Home and its novelty. So those services that got on-board quickly would be heavily utilised because of it. I have never considered becoming a Spotify premium member till I own Google Home. And if I could order pizza thru Home via this single Pizza Shop. I would do so just for the sake of this novelty.

2. surethom

Posts: 1686; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Still no wemo of lifx integration?

3. jacksmith21006

Posts: 68; Member since: Nov 03, 2015

Have had the Echo since launch and the Home for five weeks. I have found the Home to handle majority of our use cases better than the Echo. With the exception ordering stuff. So Thompson put up 60 points. "hey google what is the most kobe scored in a game"? Echo can not do this. Watching a rally and all the people have an acronym on their shirt. "hey google what does X mean" and Google answers. But it is the inference with music that is where Home really shines. There are times with the Echo you have to do a quick google search but with the Home you can fine what you are looking for with very little and there are situations where the Google Inference is better than a human. So say "hey google play gwen sting bottle" and Sting and Gwen Stefani starts playing. The last big difference is the Chromecast as output. This is a big thing for us. So wife says "hey google play SNL highlights on TV and the TV turns on, input set and SNL highlights from YouTube start playing. Only config by me was renaming the Shield to TV.

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