Google has discreetly discharged another Android feature called the “Google Assistant Ambient Mode,” another screen Google is calling a “proactive experience” phone can kick over to while it’s charging.
Ambient mode is incorporated with the Google Search application and takes over the lock screen whenever people charge the phone. The new ambient mode shows a fast welcome message at the top, trailed by their calendar, climate, upcoming flights, and notifications. Below that is a fast settings section that shows things like a do-not-disturb toggle and smart home controls for lights and thermostats. There’s likewise a photograph frame mode. It would seem that a convenient screen that could spring up when individuals are simply charging their phone before bed.
There’s no blog post on this new feature, just a single YouTube video. In the video, Google Assistant Product Manager Arvind Chandrababu says the new screen is tied in with “moving from an app-based way of doing things to an intent-based way of doing things. Right now users can do most things with their smartphone, 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.'”
The argument that tapping through applications is cumbersome sounds a great deal like the argument for Android home screen widgets, which can show similar sorts of the calendar, climate, and smart home controls that the new Ambient Mode is going for. The thing that matters is that home screen widgets are customizable, and this new ambient screen isn’t. Everyone got it ready for action on a phone, and it simply is the thing that it is—people can’t control things like which smart home controls they want to see or customize the quick settings. These limitations could truly control their usefulness. Home screen widgets were even accessible on the lock screen in older versions of Android, so this equitable appears as though Google is resurrecting a similar thought, just less customizable and controllable.
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