News 5 Hidden Settings for a Smarter Google Assistant Android Experience

Ah, Google Assistant. Looks like our trusty old Android friend has been getting swiped a lot lately, doesn’t it?

First is the fact that Google didn’t mention its sweet-voiced virtual sprites at last month’s big honkin’ consumer electronics show in Las Vegas – and that was after year The Assistant and its “Hey Google” tagline were seen almost everywhere at the event and became the central focus of the company.

But more broadly, there’s the ongoing emphasis on AI tools like ChatGPT, and the awkward disconnect between what those services can offer and what Assistant has long been able to handle.While the AI ​​in these new tools is definitely a step further than what the Assistant currently does, it’s odd that almost no one is connecting or talking about all this new stuff and it feels more like a fact upgrade Compared to any kind of brand new setup, the functionality already available in Assistant.

We look forward to hearing more about Google’s expanding AI ambitions at this spring’s Google I/O event, but in the meantime, I think it’s time to focus on our familiar Android AI partners and work on its currently underappreciated AI. Know some abilities.

all the forgettable helpers Order Beyond that, Google Assistant has some pretty useful settings that are invisible and easy to overlook—if you take the time to dig through them and revisit them, you’ll find yourself enjoying a smarter, more A more productive and efficient assistant experience this minute.

Read on to see what you missed – and when you’re ready to learn more advanced Android stuff, head over to Check out my Free Android Shortcuts Super Course. We’ll go beyond the Assistant and explore tons of time-saving tricks Every Part of your personal Android experience.

Google Assistant Android Setting No. 1: Sensitivity Slider

If there’s one Assistant-related complaint I hear the most, it’s Google Assistant’s habit of getting too dizzy and answering calls on the wrong device.

You know what I’m talking about, right? If you have multiple Assistant gadgets around your home or office — some combination of Android devices, smart displays or speakers, maybe even an Assistant-enabled Chromebook — it’s all too common for your “Hey Google” utterances picked up by a device other than the one you intended.

We could debate for days how helpful it would be for Google to let us customize the Assistant startup phrase and use different phrases for different devices — but, well, we’ve already been Have been doing this for years. And it’s clearly not going to get us anywhere.

So instead of simply complaining, take advantage of the next best thing: Assistant sensitivity settings.

cough cough:

  • Say Ok Google, Google Assistant settings Bring up your phone’s Google Assistant settings.
  • Scroll down until you see the line labeled ‘Hey Google’ Sensitivity.’
  • Tap it, then tap any device in the list to increase or decrease its sensitivity—so that it responds more or less to your voice commands when it hears you.
Google Assistant Android: Sensitivity JR

Good to know, right? Speaking of talking…

Google Assistant Android Setup No. 2: Listening for Reminders

Whether you have multiple Assistant devices lying around, or just an Android phone, it’s good to know what gizmo is listening to you at any given moment.

In addition to all the on-screen indicators, you can sound an audible alert to yourself at any time, and the Assistant thinks it heard your “Hey Google” command and pricks up its mighty virtual ears. Awareness-related general advantages aside, this keeps you from spitting out some long command only to realize a moment later that the Assistant wasn’t even paying attention (d’oh!).

But this one has been buried, and the chances of even a very ordinary person figuring out how to enable it are slim to none. Luckily for us, I’m not normal at all:

  • First, go into your phone’s general Android system settings and open the “Accessibility” section.
  • Look for the option called “Switch Access.”
  • Click it, then click the switch next to “Access with switch” to turn it on. Confirm that this is what you want to do. (For some wacky and completely undocumented reason, activating this system was the only way to get the Google Assistant reminder sound to work!)
  • Take a quick break, grab a biscuit and/or slaw – and say Ok Google, Google Assistant settings Bring up your phone’s Google Assistant settings.
  • Next, tap Accessibility.
  • See the toggles for Microphone On Notifications and Microphone Off Notifications? Make sure they are both on and active.

You get it: The next time you cough up “Hey Google,” you’ll hear the sweet chime letting you know your phone is will hear other Sound indicating stop time.

Very gersh-derned wise, don’t you say? On a related note…

Google Assistant Android Setup No. 3: Chat Control

Let’s not beat around the bush: While it’s helpful, sometimes the Assistant can get a little too chatty.

But here’s a little-known fact: You have full control over how chatty the Assistant can be, making your phone a little less verbose.

Here’s the trick:

  • Say Ok Google, Google Assistant settings Bring up your phone’s Google Assistant settings.
  • Tap the row labeled “Assistant Voice & Speech Output.”
  • Below the basic settings for changing the timbre of the Assistant’s voice, there’s an easily overlooked “Voice Output” control, one of which should read “Phone.”
  • Click on that line and — hey, how’s it going? There’s a very useful option there to control exactly how much your assistant flaps its virtual cry.
Google Assistant Android: Voice output JR

Simply choose your preference or try out the available options, and bask in your newfound aural tranquility.

Google Assistant Android Setup No. 4: Smooth Talker

Another awkward aspect of Assistant is the need to keep saying “Hey Google” after every question or command you say. It’s a bit like the way my 5 year old talks to us, starting with the inexplicable “hey mom/hey dad” every sentence — no matter how long we talked.

At least, Assistant has a way to eliminate this. (I’m still looking for my son’s background.)

This feature is only available on Pixel 4 and later Pixel phones. If you have one of these devices, go back to these Assistant settings and do the following:

  • Click “Continue Conversation.”
  • Make sure the switch next to “Phone” is in the on position.
  • Celebrate embarrassingly. *

* Fixtures optional but highly recommended

Google Assistant Android Setup No. 5: Step Saver

There’s also a Pixel-specific Assistant trick today: If you’re using a Pixel 6 or newer, be sure to activate Google Assistant’s one-step voice actions for your phone.

The feature is usually turned off by default, but the Google Assistant on these devices can listen for phrases about alarms, timers, and incoming calls, and allow you to deal with them No Have to say the usual “Hey Google” start-up phrase – none at all.

To set it up:

  • Open those Assistant settings again and find the “Quick Phrases” section.
  • If you’re using a Pixel 6 or later, you should see a pair of options here to activate “Hey Google”-free commands for stopping or snoozing alarms or timers and answering, rejecting, or silencing incoming calls.
Google Assistant Android: Quick Phrases JR

Stay tuned as we discuss the subject of shortcuts – as we’ll be here to pick up other Friday’s five unseen assistants set, and we’ll launch them with a shortcut supercharger aimed at the powerful one-two assistant.

Check back then to complete your Google Assistant enhancements or Sign up for my weekly Android Intelligence newsletter Get it all in your inbox, fresh and steaming, the second you come out of the oven.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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