Google announces new experiences for UK homes available on the Assistant and Google Home

Starting today, Google is launching new experiences on the Google Assistant, built specifically for families in London and across the UK. To showcase how developers can use this new platform, the Google Assistant has four initial apps that families can use to play, learn, engage in activities together and listen to stories using Google Home and other Assistant-enabled speakers and smartphones.

Four content partners known and loved in the UK, including Aardman and the British Council’s Learning Time With Timmy, Moshi TwilightLittle Baby Bum and HarperCollins Children’s Books StoryCastle, have developed apps for the Google Assistant specifically with families in mind. By simply using voice interaction, the Assistant will open up over 20 new experiences for kids and families to learn something educational, listen to music and bedtime stories, play games, and experience more together on the Google Assistant.

For example, Little Baby Bum can assist parents and children in their daily routines with games and songs on potty training, eating vegetables and tooth brushing, Learning Time with Timmy can help children learn new words, while StoryCastle offers offers two classic children’s audiobooks read by leading voice actors for families to listen to everyday. Moshi Twilight offers a range of sleep stories and soothing sounds to help kids relax and get to sleep at bedtime.

Additional to these experiences, with a simple ‘Hey Google, tell me a story, children can access stories like Cinderella and Beauty & the Beast, trivia, and beloved games such as musical chairs, to name a few.

Over time, Google have continued to add new features, functionality and security to the Google Assistant. Having launched Family Link in February and brought the family developer platform and partners to the Assistant in the US last October, they said that they are delighted that UK families can now use it across multiple devices — Google Home and phones — to learn and have fun together now too.

Ian Chambers, CEO of Mind Candy, says: “Moshi Twilight is revolutionising bedtime for parents. Our studies show that kids fall asleep 20 minutes quicker when listening to our deliberately dreamy stories. Our launch on Google’s Assistant will give families immediate access to our Sleep Stories, Guided Relaxations and Soothing Sounds by simply saying, ‘OK Google, talk to Moshi Twilight.’”

 

Nick Coveney, digital innovation and projects director at HarperCollins Publishers, says: “StoryCastle creates a unique new listening experience for families in the UK, opening a world of magical classic storytelling to listeners through the Google Assistant, bringing the very best of children’s writing to life in a fun and immersive way. This will enable more families to discover the joy of listening to audiobooks together, which we think all ages will love.”

 

“Creating a ‘Learning Time with Timmy’ experience for the Google Assistant was a great opportunity to build on the preschool learning brand we’ve been developing with the British Council and to extend our YouTube series into Google Home. The new app adds real value to the Learning Time with Timmy proposition and we’re excited to see the public reaction to the app alongside our YouTube channel launching this month” says Robin Gladman, Senior Distribution & Acquisitions Manager at Aardman.

 

Derek Holder, co-founder of Little Baby Bum says, “We are delighted to bring some of our popular nursery rhymes and a game to the Google Assistant. We developed the Little Baby Bum app to help parents and their young ones with some important tasks and hope that playing the Choo Choo train game will make feeding times much more fun!

 

Cedric Dupont de Rivaltz, global partner manager at Google, says: ‘We are excited to bring Apps for Families to the UK. Experiences such as activities, music and stories from well-known parent brands can be used on any Assistant-enabled device such as Google Home or a phone or tablet, bringing together the whole family for fun, learning and more.’

CEO of Internet Matters, Carolyn Bunting, says: “Connected technology opens up a wealth of experiences for families and children, but it is vital that children access it in a safe and age appropriate way. We are delighted that Google has introduced its developer platform, Apps for Families in the UK, and this combined with Family Link now gives parents a range of tools to help them keep their children safer online.”

 

Vicki Shotbolt, CEO and founder of Parent Zone, says: “It is really exciting to see Google encouraging the development of family friendly apps. Technology is a huge part of family life so it’s important that parents have the tools they need to stay in control and that there is a good supply of high quality content available for children. We want all young people to benefit from the opportunities of growing up in a digital world. Helping families to get the best out of the internet couldn’t be more important.”

EJ Ward

EJ manages all news content for Panda Radio in the UK, and prepares news for other stations in our radio group. Experienced in news reporting, and specialising in breaking news and political reporting, as well as on-the-ground reporting from major UK incidents. EJ is always on the hunt for hard news, specifically content relating to the UK, Europe and China. Find him on Twitter @EJWardNews