Google Assistant, the AI-backed digital helper from Google, is getting a minor but very useful capability - the ability to read out messages.
Starting today, you'd be able to call out the voice assistant to read out messages from third-party apps, including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
The feature has just started rolling out and would come very handy for a hands-free experience.
Google Assistant has long had the ability to read out messages, but the feature was only restricted to text messages.
Now, the search giant is improving the feature by bringing support for popular third-party messaging apps, Android Police reported.
This means that now you can simply ask Google Assistant to read out messages coming on WhatsApp, Slack, Facebook Messenger, or even Telegram.
Along with reading messages aloud, Google Assistant will also be able to answer messages on your command.
This way, you'd be able to do both listen and reply to incoming messages without opening each individual app manually.
However, do note that Google Assistant's voice readouts might not come handy when you're in the public or have people around you.
In order to use the new feature, you'd just have to say "Ok Google, read my messages".
Post this, you will have to provide notification access permission to Assistant, which will allow the digital helper to show a card with the latest message.
As this card would appear, the text from it would be read out aloud with the name of the sender.
Once the card appears with the message, you can use it to type out a response to the sender or dictate the same.
To note, if there are messages from different messaging apps (like Slack and WhatsApp), Google Assistant will cycle through them, switching between different messages.
Also, it won't open media files received through messages.
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