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Google Might Scrap “Hey Google” for Some Voice Assistant Tasks

Illustration for article titled Soon You May Not Have to Say 'Hey Google' to Get Your Phone's Google Assistant to Listen to You

Illustration: Leon Neal (Getty Images)

If you’ve ever wanted your Google Assistant to get moving without having to say, “hey Google,” all the time, you may be getting your wish in the near future.

On Friday, Android Police spotted a new featured dubbed “Guacamole” after updating the Google app on Android. The update introduced a new Guacamole menu in the Google Assistant settings list for some users, the outlet reported, although it’s not functional yet. Nonetheless, according to screenshots of the menu posted by Android Police, Guacamole is apparently a voice shortcuts feature that will allow users to skip saying “hey Google” for help with quick tasks.

In order to enable the feature, users have to click and read, presumably, a set of terms and conditions. We say “presumably” because the link included in the menu doesn’t work yet, so we haven’t been able to confirm this. (We did try, though).

Just what exactly will these quick tasks consist of? 9to5Google reports that these quick tasks include alarms, timers, and calls. As an example, the outlet said that the feature will allow you to say “stop” or “snooze” to stop an alarm. It also stated that users will be able to say, “answer the call,” or “decline the call.”

Now, I don’t use Google Assistant, but I do use an Amazon Echo Dot that always plays a wonderful BTS playlist in the morning to wake me up. I’m a beast in the morning, and when I grumble, “Alexa, stoooooop,” I always feel the thing is paying attention to me. I don’t think I would get that same feeling of sleepy satisfaction if I just said, “stop.” That’s just me though, and this is a very particular situation.

9to5Google notes that Google is only testing the Guacamole feature with employees at the time, which is why it began showing up on some users’ phones. As with other features under development, there’s no guarantee that this one will ever make it to the mainstream. We just have to wait and see.


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