You’ll soon be able to get Google Assistant to respond to a custom ‘wake word’ – that’s the phrase you use to activate the voice assistant.
Up until recently, your options have been ‘Okay Google’ or… ‘Okay Google’. Google then added ‘Hey Google’ for those users who wanted something a bit more informal, but now it looks like you’re going to be able to use anything you’d like.
This is going to come as a relief for anyone who would rather not call out the name of a major corporation every time they want a traffic update.
Training your Google Home
The revelation comes as 9to5google (opens in new tab) did a complete teardown of the latest app update, and found the following code:
<string name=”opa_first_screen_tgoogle_summary”> ”You’ll be able to access your Assistant directly by saying \”%1$s\”” </string> <string name=”opa_first_screen_tgoogle_title”> Teach your Assistant to recognize \”%1$s\” </string> <string name=”hotword_enrollment_tgoogle_summary_usage_sample_title”> Your Assistant will now respond when you say things like: </string>
That ‘”%1$s’ is a placeholder for whatever you’d like to use as the command.
It'll be interesting to see if Google competitor Amazon follows suit. You can currently make an Echo device respond to ‘Amazon’, ‘Computer’, and ‘Echo’, but the default, and therefore the most commonly used, name is Alexa – which has caused no end of problems for the human Alexas of the world.
Staying in a house with an Alexa involves a lot of jumping to attention to jot down shopping lists and trying to accurately forecast the weather.December 26, 2017
Also included in the update is code that allows Google devices to make and receive Google Duo video calls. This will be most useful for the new range of Google Assistant smart speakers with screens, which were shown off at last month's CES 2018 tech extravaganza in Las Vegas.
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