Technology

Android Phones Get One More Hotword To Trigger Google Assistant

Google Home users can wake up their smart speakers using the keyword “Hey Google.” However, the Android smartphone users still had to use ‘’Ok Google’’ to trigger the assistant, thereby creating confusion for those using both of the devices. Now, Google is trying to clear the confusion, by giving smartphone users an option to select between the hotwords, “Ok Google” and “Hey Google.”

Google Assistant hotword
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New Google Assistant hotword

The new Google Assistant hotword for the phones was in testing since October. At the time, the new Google Assistant hotword was available on Google Nexus and Pixel devices only. Now, Google has started rolling out the feature to the masses and sending a notification to update their set up. A few users have reported getting the option to configure their voice modeling on the smartphone, notes Android Police.

The feature is expected to work on various other non–Google, Android running devices. According to Xda-developers, the new voice command is available on the ZTE Axon M powered by 7.1 Nougat.

After offering the “Hey Google” support on the Android phones, the total number of voice wake-up commands on Google Assistant now stands at two. Offering more options in voice command will make the assistant more convenient to those who are dependent on it for answering questions, listening to music and performing hands-free tasks.

Google Assistant on older Android phones

The Google Assistant can perform a wide range of tasks just from the voice command of the user. One of the most basic features is updating you with the latest news, weather and so on. Further, the Assistant is capable of calling and texting the specific contact who the owner asks it to. The user just needs to tell the Assistant “Hey Google, text <person> <the thing you want to text.”

The Google Assistant is facing tough competition from the likes of Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri. Soon, Samsung will also join the race with its smart speaker equipped with Bixby. Recently, Samsung Mobile president DJ Koh confirmed that the company is working on a smart speaker.

To beat the competition, Google has consistently been making the Assistant more versatile with various features such as broadcast, navigation suggestions and so on. The Assistant debuted on Google Pixel, and since then, it has been penetrating the Android world.

Only recently, the search engine giant made Assistant available on the older Android versions. Google Assistant covers a wide range of devices such as phones, watches, cars, and smart speakers. However, by making it available on older Android phones, Google has tapped into the largely ignored Android users across the globe.

Now, Google Assistant covers the phones running on Android 5.0 Lollipop and above. This is a big change as earlier the assistant was available only on the Marshmallow and up. The Google Play active user stats reveal that Lollipop compatibility will add another 26% of Android’s install base to the Assistant’s reach.

This number excludes the Android tablets, which until now did not have any Assistant feature. However, the voice Assistant would be available on the tablets that have their language set to English.

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