Google Assistant, the AI-enabled digital voice helper on your Android and iOS smartphones, now possesses the ability to control Chromecast-enabled devices. The feature is new to smartphones that house the Google Assistant (the app is available on both Android and iOS), but the ability already existed on the Google Home smart speaker.
So now, you can issue commands to Assistant on your phone to play something on the Chromecast or Chromecast audio, or any other Chromecast-enabled television or speaker. Users can specify which Chromecast they want to play out media from with simple voice commands to the phone. Users can also control features on the Chromecast such as play, pause, skip a track, volume and more through the Google Assistant on their smartphones.
The feature was first spotted by Android Police and was later confirmed by Google. Since the Google Home speaker could already control Chromecast devices, many complained of a fragmented ecosystem as far as Assistant’s abilities are concerned. However, using a Google Home device was never an option in India as Google has still not launched the smart home speaker in the country. So for us in India, the new ability to control Chromecast devices with a smartphone is a big plus.
Google recently unveiled a new set of smart speakers - Google Home Mini and Google Home Max - with built-in Google Assistant. The speakers have been announced only for the US and no talks of India availability have surfaced just yet. Back in September, Google had announced that the Assistant is headed to Android TVs, starting with Sony Bravia televisions.
The Google Assistant is clearly leading the AI-assistant race alongside Amazon's Alexa. While Google has refrained from launching its smart home speaker/hub in India, Amazon has introduced the Echo range of speakers in the country. The Echo speakers house Amazon's Alexa assistant and come with a binch of local skills in India.