Google Assistant's new ambient mode transforms phones into picture frames

The Android team has announced the launch of a Google Assistant Ambient Mode for Android; this feature turns smartphones and tablets into smart home displays whenever they're attached to a charger.

To reduce the number of steps users have to take to check the weather, set an alarm, or look up their upcoming plans, the Android team on Monday announced the Google Assistant Ambient Mode for Android.

When connected to a charger, this experience will transform a mobile device into a digital photo frame, music control hub, or smart home device control center; essentially, while charging, the device will function similarly to a smart display.

The current weather and temperature is displayed in a top corner while the time is displayed in the other. If you have an event coming up, a notification will be shown on-screen.

Product Manager of Google Assistant Arvind Chandrababu states that "the ultimate goal for proactive Assistant is to help you get things done faster, anticipate your needs and accomplish your tasks as quickly and as easily as possible."

Instead of basing an experience on an app, the team at Google wants to base experiences off user intents. Within this ambient mode, users can set an alarm in a tap, rather than opening up the device to set one within the clock application.

This feature is available on select devices running Android 8.0 and more recent. Chandrababu promises that he and his team have "a number of different proactive experiences planned for the Assistant on your mobile devices."