Google Assistant’s ‘Ambient Mode’ rolling out to Android phones next week

Google Assistant’s Ambient Mode turns the smartphone’s screen into a smart display when put on charge. This feature is rolling out to select Android devices next week.

Google Assistant Ambient Mode
Google Assistant Ambient Mode (Google)

Google Assistant's 'Ambient Mode' is finally coming to smartphones. First unveiled at I/O 2019, Ambient Mode uses Google Assistant to turn the smartphone's lock screen into an interactive one when it's charging.

Google Assistant Ambient Mode will start rolling out to Sony Xperia, Nokia, Transsion and Xiaomi smartphones starting next week. It will also come to select Lenovo tablets. The only criteria for Ambient Mode are that the compatible phones should run on Android 8 Oreo or above. Surprisingly, Google's Pixel phones aren't getting this Ambient Mode. Google usually releases any new feature to Pixel phones first or they remain Pixel exclusive.

Coming to the feature, Ambient Mode switches on when the phone is plugged in to charge. Google calls it the "proactive Assistant experience on your phone". On Ambient Mode, the phone's lock screen will show notifications, upcoming events, reminders, meetings and smart home controls as well. Users can also set alarms directly from the Ambient Mode screen.

 

Once users are done toying around with the activities, Ambient Mode will turn the phone into a digital photo frame. Google Assistant's Ambient Mode acts as a digital photo frame by displaying a slideshow of photos picked from the user's Google Photos account. This digital photo frame feature is already available on the Google Nest Hub Max. Google said it will introduce more "proactive experiences" for the Assistant in the near future.

Google hasn't specified which devices will get the Assistant's Ambient Mode but it did mention few of them at its I/O 2019 event. Some of the confirmed devices for Ambient Mode include Lenovo Smart Tab M8 HD, Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab, Nokia 7.2 and Nokia 6.2.