Google Assistant has become pretty much omnipresent, so much so that we’re seeing it on entry level phones even, from Nokia. Now we learn that using its Ambient Mode, you can turn your phone or tablet into a smart display. Starting with IFA 2019, the Assistant gained this ability.

It comes server side from what I understood and once Ambient Mode starts, it turns a phone or tablet with Android into a Smart display. It can work like a night stand or kitchen tablet, displaying useful info and having commands at the ready. Smart Displays offer voice based interaction and a very minimalistic UI, that feels like the one of a car system.

It can show you info from the calendar, weather, notifications, reminders, music controls and smart home controls. There’s also the option of a digital photo frame, that pulls images from the Google Photos account. Ambient Mode on Google Assistant has been inaugurated by the Lenovo Smart Tab M8 HD and Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab tablets, when they are docked.

It’s also present on the brand new Nokia 7.2 and Nokia 6.2 smartphones, showcased in Berlin. We can’t yet tell if it’ll roll out to other devices soon or not. Pixel 4 may also get extra Assistant functions. Basically, it all replaces the lockscreen of a charging and docked Android device. All the info is easier to grasp and navigate. Nest Hub’s UI comes to mind.