It’s been seven months since Google first announced personalized user profiles and glanceable information in Ambient Mode. Although we have only seen user profiles show up accidentally here and there, we finally have some definitive proof that the new ambient mode is rolling out to some users.
A report from 9to5Google states that a notification popped up on one of their units running the Google TV interface, which advised that “proactive personal results” were now available. Upon clicking on this notification, a new Google Assistant settings page came up, which allowed that setting to be toggled.
When this setting is on, the ambient mode screensaver reveals a different look from what was originally reported when this change was first announced. The new UI has smaller widgets across the bottom, with access to personalized information such as local weather, news, sports scores, Youtube videos, music playlists, and Podcasts. 9to5 explains that the widget “cards” available changed slightly every time ambient mode went into effect, but that, for the most part, it was the same layout of cards.
9to5 also states that they’ve only seen the update on one device so far and have yet to see it show up on Chromecast with Google TV units. I checked my Chromecast with google TV as well this morning and had no such luck. Because of this, I agree with 9to5’s suspicions that this may be pending a server-side Google Play Services update.
This new development, plus seeing promotional materials for the Chromecast with Google TV that will now be sold at Amazon, including screenshots of a multi-account switcher, boosts my excitement that we will see these delayed features very soon. Even though the reason for the delay is still unknown, the fact remains that these are features that many users have been begging for, so it will be really exciting once we start seeing them roll out more widely.