Voice assistants are getting scary good with every passing year. Google Assistant has been ahead of the curve for quite some time now, being preferred by almost half a billion people. Even with new players like Samsung’s Bixby arriving on the scene, Google Assistant remains the leader of the pack. In this article, we bring you the top tips and tricks to use Google Assistant like a pro.
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Turn on Google Assistant
To get started, you need to turn on Google Assistant on your smartphone. Go to Google app>Settings>Google Assistant>Hey Google & Voice Match, and turn on the toggle bar for Hey Google. Now, you will be able to trigger Google Assistant simply by saying ‘Hey Google’.
One of the better parts of using Google Assistant is that it’s purely voice controlled and you do not need to scroll on your device to do a particular task. To make full use of this functionality, make sure you have activated Assistant responses on the lock screen. Train Google Assistant to recognise your voice using Voice Match. This will ensure that the voice assistant only responds to you when your phone is locked.
Set your preferred news sources
If you rely on Google for news, you can ask Google Assistant to read you the headlines of the day. You can even customise the assistant to read you the news from your preferred sources. Simply go to Google Assistant>You>News and set up your preferred sources. Say ‘Hey Google play the news’ to have the assistant read the news to you at any given time.
Set up a routine
Google Assistant can help you with certain tasks using the ‘routines’ trick. For example, upon waking up, Google Assistant can tell you about the weather, read out the schedule for the day from your calendar, remind you of the tasks for the day and any upcoming birthdays, and even tell you if your battery is low so you can plug it in to charge before leaving the house. To set up a routine, go to Google Assistant>Routines and customise any routine you like. You can also set up a new routine for yourself.
Set up a reminder
With your smartphone always by your side, setting up reminders is easier than ever. All you need to do is say ‘Hey Google set a reminder for…’ followed by the reminder. You can use this function to set reminders for basically anything. Didn’t get to charge your phone before you left the house? Tell Google Assistant to remind you to plug in your phone to charge after 30 minutes. You can even set reminders for birthdays, anniversaries, and more.
Manage smart gadgets with Google Assistant
If you use any smart gadgets or appliances around the house, you can easily control them with your voice using Google Assistant. First, you need to install Google Home on your device and link your gadget with it. Once that is done, you can use voice commands to manage the device. For example, if you use a smart bulb for your room, you can use Google Assistant tricks to turn it on, change the colour temperature or intensity, and even set it to turn off at a specific time.
Create a shopping list
Of all the assistant functions mentioned in the list, this is the easiest one to incorporate into your daily routine. If you are always forgetting to add stuff to your shopping list, now you can easily update just by speaking into your phone. To start, say ‘Hey Google create a shopping list’. You can edit the list title and easily add entries to it. You can ask the Assistant to pin this list to your home screen as well.
Enable continued conversation
If you’re using Google Assistant for a task like creating a shopping list, you probably don’t want to say ‘Hey Google’ before making each entry. To skip this, go to Google Assistant settings and select Continued Conversation.
Check your flight reservation
Google Assistant can access your Gmail inbox to look through any flight reservations. By asking Google Assistant for any upcoming flights, you can have it read out the flight info from the ticket in your Gmail inbox.
Get Google Assistant to screen your calls
Call screening is one of Google Assistant’s newest features and possibly the most helpful one too. Currently, only Pixel phones have this feature and it has been made available in selected regions across the globe. Some Android phones in North America have been given early access to call screening as well. Google plans on rolling out this feature across all Android smartphones in a phased manner.
So, what does call screening do? Using call screening, Google Assistant can take your calls for you, screen them, and answer them on your behalf. You can set up responses for Google Assistant to read out to the caller. The caller’s responses will be shown as a transcript on the screen. Call screening can help you filter a lot of spam calls from annoying telemarketers and other sources.
To enable Automatic call screening on Google Assistant, open the Phone app and go to Settings>Spam and Call Screen. Select ‘Automatically screen’. To do this manually, simply tap on ‘Screen Call’ every time your phone rings. You can also choose to record what the caller says while interacting with Google Assistant.
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These are the top tips and tricks to use Google Assistant like a pro. As you can probably tell by now, the possibilities with Google Assistant are endless. You can use it to play trivia, flip a coin, take a selfie, play music, translate a phrase, or do any other task (within fair limits) that you can think of!
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