Sometime in late 2019, Android rolled out Google Assistant-powered “Ambient Mode” on select Android devices. This feature essentially brought more functionality to a smartphone’s lock screen while the device is charging.
This ‘new’ lock screen allows users to perform tasks like controlling the songs track, displaying albums from Google Photos or even control your smart home devices. It even lets you have a peek at various events such as notifications, calendars, reminders, etc. All without unlocking the device.
Google calls Ambient Mode a “Proactive” Google Assistant” experience that is available whenever the device is being charged.
This proactive information includes suggestions on weather, agenda, entertainment, reminders, and more. The feature can also be used to turn a phone into a digital photo frame or as the interface to control smart home devices, such as lights, or music players.
How to Enable Ambient Mode
This feature can be enabled using the Google Assistant and the Google app using the following simple steps.
- Invoke your Google Assistant using the “OK Google” or “Hey Google” hotwords.
- Go to the Assistant tab.
- Click on Phone.
- Scroll down to Ambient Mode and toggle that switch on.
- That’s it! Plug in your charger and go through the Ambient Mode setup.
I first saw Ambient mode on my Pocophone last year but it is available on a bunch of other devices.
It’s currently supported on devices running Android 8.1 or higher on select phones — Nokia, Xiaomi, Transsion, Sony Xperia, and select Lenovo tablets.
It is still unclear whether the same support has been extended to more devices but it could be worth checking out on your device, see if it is available.
Google Assistant is gaining more and more functionality by the day. You might also want to check out Google Assistant’s Routines, another brilliant Google Assistant feature that brings a totally new experience to your smartphone’s alarm.