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Google Assistant could soon kick into action without you even saying “Hey Google”

According to developer reports, Google Assistant could soon adapt so that you don’t have to say “Hey Google” before each and every request.

According to 9to5 Google, you’ll soon be able to ask Google Assistant to snooze the alarm or answer an incoming call with having to say “Hey Google” first. The change was discovered after developers spotted that a settings menu running a codenamed feature named Guacamole unintentionally went live and boasted of the ability to ‘Skip saying “Hey Google” for help with quick tasks’, an option that can be turned on or off.

For now, these quick tasks only concern alarms, timers, and calls. You will be able to simply say “Stop” or “Snooze” when those dreaded early morning alarm chimes kick in, or “Answer/Decline the call” to your phone when it rings.

In some ways, this could definitely be a welcome development. Sometimes when you’re talking to your Google Assistant it can feel like the world’s most boring game of Simon Says when every request must be prefaced with the same salutation; especially when it’s for humiliating requests like “Hey Google. What day of the week is it?” (a not infrequent occurrence during lockdown languor).

However, it’s good that Google is starting with commands that are unlikely to be misinterpreted; having Google Assistant eavesdrop on your conversations and grasp the wrong end of the stick would be a predictable side-effect if it was not triggered by those faux-cheery programmed words. And nobody wants to accidentally call up the person they’re slagging off, that just ruins the whole point of mean-spirited, back-biting gossip.

The work on this feature reportedly began back in early March, but there’s no word yet as to when it will be fully implemented and available on Android smartphones or other smart devices running Google Assistant.




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