No more ‘Hey, Google’? You may summon Google Assistant without the wake words soon
“Hey, Google” might soon be a thing of the past, at least for some commands on the Google Assistant. Google is working on a new feature called ‘Quick phrases’ for the Google Assistant that could allow you to skip the ‘Hey, Google’ wake phrase and swap it with more common phrases like - “What time is it?” or “Set the alarm”. As 9to5Google reports, this feature has not been officially announced yet and it is also not clear exactly what devices are going to support these Quick phrases.
This new feature showed up back in April under the codename “Guacamole”, and was called “Voice shortcuts” at that point in time. Voice shortcuts’ capabilities appeared to be limited to silencing alarms and timers and responding to incoming calls. However, now a new menu has been discovered by 9to5Google that shows a much broader spectrum of tasks, or “salsas”, as Google calls them. These “salsas” include the ability to ask about the weather, skip music tracks, set alarms and timers, and also silence them.
It looks like you might have to individually enable specific commands from the settings menu to get them to work without the wake word. Post which the ‘Voice Match’ is going to be used to ensure they only respond to your unique voice. There is another menu item that indicates that these phrases can be set to work across other Google Assistant devices in addition to your own phone.
According to 9to5Google, this feature is going to work by expanding the list of wake phrases that a Google Assistant device currently listens for. Currently, by default, the software only listens for “Hey, Google”, or “Ok, Google” wake phrases. But once new ones like - “What time is it?” and “Set an alarm” have been added as Quick phrases, they become new wake phrases.
Google had introduced a similar feature in 2019 for Google’s Nest smart speakers and displays that allowed you to silence an alarm without using the “Hey, Google” wake phrase. This feature is now being expanded further by Quick phrases to cover a wider variety of common tasks like weather updates, setting an alarm, etc.