Google’s Pixel 3 phones are now shipping, and they come with many new features, including several new Assistant features. However, you will be surprised and disappointed to know that the search giant has removed a basic Assistant function from the Pixel 3 phones.
“OK, Google” won’t unlock Pixel 3 phones
You will be shocked to know that you won’t be able to unlock the Pixel 3 phones by saying the magic words “OK, Google.” This is not a problem users are facing when trying to unlock their phones; rather, this is what the official Google Assistant support page now says, first spotted by tech site Piunikaweb.
“On Pixel 3 phones, you can’t unlock your phone by saying ‘OK, Google,’” the support page says.
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Even though Google has removed this functionality, it has added many new ones to the Pixel 3 phones. Google now allows you to access the Assistant without manually unlocking the screen.
“On Pixel 3 phones, you can control what kinds of info the Assistant will say or show when your phone is locked,” the search giant says.
Users also get a new visual overview of their day, which can be accessed by swiping up after the “Hey, Google” command. The overview shows recent notes, important reminders and event recommendations. To use the feature, you will first have to enable it through the Assistant settings.
However, the new feature has its limitations. For instance, it only shows personal results from your emails, Google Calendar, contacts, reminders, memory aids, and shopping lists. Thus, if you want to make a call or text or access other apps, like photos, you will have to manually unlock the device.
The new feature is actually a limitation for users who want to go beyond their personal results, and since “OK, Google” no longer unlocks the Pixel 3 phones, you will have to do things manually. In other words, if your hands are messy and you want to make a call, you will first have to go wash them — you don’t mind unlocking your phone with messy hands.
Further, Google says, “If you turn off lock screen personal results, you’ll need to unlock your phone to see and hear Assistant responses that include personal results.”
To enable the lock screen personal results on the Pixel 3 phones, touch and hold the Home button or say “OK, Google.” Next, select “Explore” and then “Your Stuff” and then “More.” Then go to “Settings” and then “Assistant.” Select your phone from the list of “Assistant devices” and enable “Access with Voice Match.” Next, enable “Lock screen personal results.”
Other new Assistant features
The Pixel 3 phones also come with many other Assistant features, including call screening. This feature screens calls and blocks spam. For instance, when you get a call from an unknown number and select “Screen Call,” Assistant will step in to show you a transcript of the caller’s responses in real time to help you decide whether to take the call or not. This feature will be available on older Pixel devices as well.
Another new feature is the Duplex restaurant reservation. The feature will debut later this year for Pixel users in New York, Atlanta, Ga., Phoenix, Ariz. and the San Francisco Bay Area. This new Google Assistant feature, which is powered by Duplex technology, will be able to book a restaurant reservation on your behalf — all by itself.
The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL went on sale Thursday in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. The smaller model starts at $799, while the bigger one starts at $899. Google Fi is offering an $800 service credit on the purchase of two handsets. Verizon is offering a monthly credit for the second 64 GB Pixel 3 if a buyer leases it first for 24 months and adds a new line for the second.
The Google Pixel 3 phones come with the new Titan M security chip, which has been designed to keep them secure. The chip is basically a security module designed by Google itself to protect the Pixel 3 from all kinds of threats.
“Titan M’s CPU is an ARM Cortex-M3 microprocessor specially hardened against side-channel attacks and augmented with defensive features to detect and respond to abnormal conditions,” the search giant says.