Google announced the “Ambient Mode” feature in September as a Google Assistant add-on. Well, the company has now published a video on YouTube as well as a tweet that talks about how this feature works. This indicates that a wider rollout is on its way. So how does this feature work? Well, when your compatible phone is charging, it can turn itself into a smart display with information relevant to you.
While the number of available features is currently limited, Google mentions that more advanced features will be made available with Ambient Mode in the future. As of now, this can let you add alarms, look at your reminders, have your photos in the background, and more. So what devices will get this feature?
While devices like the Lenovo Smart Tab M8 HD, Nokia 7.2 and 6.2 were reported to get this feature initially, it has now been confirmed that a handful of Xiaomi, Sony, and Transsion phones will also see Ambient Mode soon. What’s odd is that the list currently doesn’t include Google’s own Pixel smartphones. But since this feature is compatible with any device running Android 8.0 and above, we’re hopeful to see it on more devices over the coming weeks.
— Android (@Android) November 25, 2019
It’s worth noting that Ambient Mode currently doesn’t support customization which means your options are quite limited. Also, it’s not easy to find Ambient Mode on every smartphone due to the slow rollout. Despite being quite limited right now, this is an excellent feature that can boost productivity to some degree although we would love to see more productivity oriented features on Ambient Mode.