Lots of folks are lucky to be working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, but this can also be difficult for a lot of people because they can forget to take breaks and work later than they normally would in an office. Google wants to help.
Google Assistant is rolling out a new workday routine that's meant to help you take breaks and stick to something resembling normal working hours. It'll be available starting this week on both Android and iOS.
When you enable the new workday routine in the Google Assistant settings, you'll get a pre-set routine with breaks throughout the day. On Monday through Friday, the Google Assistant will give you an alert at 10:00 am to say "It's time to stand up and stretch!"
At 2:00 pm it'll suggest going for a walk, and at 3:00 pm it'll say that you should go get a drink of water. And then when 4:45 pm rolls around, the Google Assistant will remind you to start wrapping things up and finishing your workday. The Assistant will also periodically remind you of the time throughout the day so that you don't miss meetings.
While all of these reminders come with the pre-set workday routine, you can customize the actions and reminders to better fit your own workday.
Also announced today is a new Gentle Sleep and Wake feature for your smart lights. Rolling out in the next few days, it can help you wind down for bed at night and wake up more gently in the morning.
To enable this feature, just say "Hey Google, sleep my lights at 10:00 pm" to help remind you to go to bed on time. You can also say something like "Hey Google, wake my lights at 8:00 am" to have your lights fade in and change color in the morning when it's time to get out of bed.
If you're already using Google Assistant alarms, you can say "Turn on Gentle Wake Up" to have your smart lights start brightening 30 minutes before your alarm goes off.