Talk to Santa with Google Assistant

Google Assistant has released a new feature that allows kids to talk to Santa. All they have to do is say “Hey Google, call Santa” to be connected with the North Pole. It’s part of a larger release of holiday features aimed at children and families who own the smart speaker.

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Google Assistant makes Santa more real than ever

Aside from helping Santa rehearse for a musical concert, kids can also use Google Assistant to improve their manners with a feature called Pretty Please. This November 29th update rewards users for saying “please” or “thank you” to the Assistant by answering with “thanks for asking so nicely”. Another feature allows users with a Google Play Music subscription to sing along to songs using synchronized lyrics on the Smart Display.

In addition, Google has created non-holiday related enhanced features for its Home Hub. Broadcast Replies will allow someone to remotely communicate with their family at home through Google Assistant. At-home users may reply back through a smart speaker, a Smart Display, or any other Home devices. Next, Google has made it easier to share photos from Smart Displays to family and friends. Users can vocally command Google Assistant to share photos, as well as hide or favorite photos. Finally, Google has made it easier to set an alarm on the Smart Display, adding a timer button to the area where the users swipes up from the home screen.

The Google Assistant’s new holiday features are part of a larger move to create products for children. In late October, Google announced that it has partnered with Disney to create read-along books through Google Home. For a select number of Golden Books, Google Home can add sound effects and music to old-fashioned storytelling. Similarly, Amazon has partnered with Novel Effect, a company that creates voice interactive storytelling for children’s books. Given the exponential increase in the usage of smart home platforms, it’s not surprising that companies are looking to market to children as well as adults.

For more information, read our article about using Google Home routines.

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza is a journalist living in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout her career, her work has spanned many intersections within the tech industry. At SquareFoot, a New York-based real estate technology company, she wrote about the ways in which technology has changed the real estate industry, as well as the challenges that business owners face when they want to invest in property. At Degreed.com, an education technology website, Aliza created digital content for lifelong learners, exploring the ways in which technology has democratized education. Additionally, she has written articles for The Huffington Post as well as her own content on Medium, the online publishing platform. Aliza’s love of journalism and research stems from the excellent Journalism program at Brandeis University. At Brandeis, Aliza interned as a research assistant at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit “news room without walls”. There, Aliza was paired with an investigative journalist and used academic databases to obtain data on everything from the suicide rates in Bhutan to local Boston court cases. Her last position was as an account executive at Yelp, educating business owners on the power of technology to increase revenue. Throughout, however, her heart remained with tech journalism, and she’s thrilled to be writing for Security Baron. When she’s not keeping afloat of the latest tech trends, Aliza likes to cook, read, and write. A former high school “Class Clown,” Aliza has completed two feature-length screenplays, a pilot, and countless comedic sketches. On her days off you can find her relaxing in Prospect Park, trying the latest flavors at Ample Hills Ice Cream, and spending time with friends and family.

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