Google Assistant Can Now Help Users Find a Plumber

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Google Assistant can now help users find local service providers, including plumbers and electricians. Google notes in the announcement that the newly updated Assistant can help users find plumbers, housekeepers, electricians and more.

The feature works with the “Ok Google” command, and is compatible with Android, iPhone and voice activated speakers. After asking Assistant to find a provider, users are asked a few follow-up questions before being provided a list of local options.

Users also have the option of having Assistant call the first plumber Google finds.

Assistant may also ask about the nature of the problem and the address at which the problem is occurring. Users can then choose to call the first plumber found or to see a list of options. After browsing a list of options, Assistant can provide more information about the company. From here, users have the option to call the service provider directly.

In some cities, recommendations offered by Assistant are prescreened by Porch and HomeAdvisor. Prescreening makes finding a certified electrician or a licensed plumber easier and more convenient.

The update comes as Google expands compatibility for its Assistant feature. The company recently rolled out Assistant to Android tablets that are running 6.0 Marshmallow and newer. Smartphones using 5.0 Lollipop can now also use Assistant.

Google’s Assistant feature was first announced at its developer conference in 2016, and was launched on Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. Google started rolling out the feature on other Android smartphones running Nougat and Marshmallow. The company then pushed the feature on to smart home appliances, Android watches, iPhones, televisions and headphones.

Assistant can also help travelers find things to do while on vacation. Simply ask to find “things to do” or add things to a shopping list. Users can also find out if their flight is on time and ask to set reminders for future plans.

These features work with smartphones, some tablets, iPhones and voice-activated speakers.

Along with calling local service providers and searching the web for information, Assistant can also now control your home. With just a few simple words, Assistant can control the lights or heating system in a home. The feature works with more than 1,000 devices.

The smart home control function works with five home appliances:

  • Lights: C by GE bulbs are compatible with Google Assistant, so lights can be controlled from any room.
  • Kitchen: Assistant can control Smarter kettles and Whirlpool appliances.
  • Thermostat: Users can control their Nest or ecobee smart thermostats using Assistant. Bond fans are also compatible.
  • Security: Chromecast, Google Home and Logitech Circle home cameras allow users to get a full screen view of their home (inside or outside).
  • Other appliances: LG appliances are compatible with Assistant, and can even notify users when the fridge door is left open. Users can also connect with vacuums, ovens, air conditioners and more.

Google has been rapidly expanding the features and compatibility of its Assistant feature. The service appears to be the company’s answer to smart home control, which is quickly being adopted by homes across the world.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.