Google Assistant is about to get smarter


As part of a new feature expected to get a broader release later this fall, Google’s new “Quick Phrases” will soon allow people to perform a large number of voice commands without saying “OK Google” or “Hey Google” first.

AndI started “Quick Phrases” are appearing across a small number of devices, indicating that a broader rollout is imminent. Meanwhile, the idea behind Quick Phrases is straightforward: allowing people to respond to common situations with short voice commands while skipping alert words altogether.

The company has been exploring the ability to bypass alert words via Google Assistant smart devices, where you can mute timers by saying “off” after they ring.

However, with the upcoming release of Quick Phrases, the company is adding a bunch of new commands to the list.

But the downside is that if we’re talking strictly about phones, the number of supported commands is much more limited, as people can only respond to an incoming call by saying “answer” or “reject”, or respond to an alert by saying “stop” or “afternoon nap”.

In order to enable “Quick Phrases,” all you have to do is search for the “Quick Phrases” option in your Android 12 phone’s settings menu, after which you can enable Quick Phrases to respond to alerts or incoming calls individually.

However, for Google Assistant smart home devices like the Nest Hub, Nest Audio, or the Nest Mini, reports show that there are more than 15 different things you can do without saying Hey Google first.

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Google Quick Phrases Let You Skip Saying Hey Google

The “quick phrases” commands discovered so far include:

  • Set alarms by saying “Set the alarm for 6 AM.”
  • Cancel alarms by saying “Cancel alarm”.
  • Asking about alarm times by saying “What time is the alarm set?”
  • Set timers by saying “Set timer for X minutes.”
  • Control the timers by saying “cancel the timer,” “pause the timer,” or “reset the timer.”
  • Display timers by saying “How much time is left?”
  • Send an audio broadcast by saying “Send Broadcast.”
  • Check the weather by saying “What’s the weather like?”
  • Answer calls by saying “answer” or “reject”.
  • Checking the time by saying “What time is it?”
  • Control the lights by saying “turn the lights on or off” or “increase or decrease the brightness.”
  • Adjust the volume of the music by saying “Volume up or down.”
  • Control the music by saying “Pause or play music” or “Skip this song.”
  • Create reminders by saying “Create a reminder.”
  • Take family notes by saying “Create a family note.”

Although you may not take advantage of every command, for people who love to cook, the Assistant is a useful tool in the kitchen for setting timers, and with Quick Phrases, we get more freedom to set and control timers.

However, the big test of the feature is how often Google Assistant gets confused or misrecognizes commands because by skipping the alert word, the assistant needs to distinguish more accurately between regular house speech and intended voice commands.

It is not known at the moment when the company will officially release the feature. But with it rolling out across quite a few devices, it is expected to be announced sometime in the next couple of months before the end of the year.

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