The Pixel 4 may introduce 'raise to talk' for Google Assistant

Google Assistant
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Right now you can get the Google Assistant to start listening to you with a button push, or by saying "hey Google", or by squeezing the sides of your phone – but the Pixel 4 series is being tipped to introduce a new way of activating the app.

According to 9to5Google, a new 'raise to talk' option is in development, where you only need to lift up your phone and start talking to use Google Assistant.

The voice interaction will need to happen right after you lift the phone, apparently, and the necessary voice match processing is carried out on the device itself – so other people won't be able to get at the feature just by picking your phone up.

However, it's not certain that 'raise to talk' for Google Assistant will be ready in time for the Pixel 4 launch on October 15 – it might be that the functionality gets pushed out as an update at a later date.

Counting down the days

We know that an improved Google Assistant is on the way, because Google showed off some of its features – including a more intuitive way of continuing a conversation with the app – at the Google IO event back in May.

The upcoming update will also enable the Google Assistant to answer some queries and deal with some commands even while offline, according to reports. It seems that Google sees software as one way to really make its Pixel phone series stand out.

We've heard plenty of rumors about the hardware that's on the way too, thanks to a seemingly endless series of leaks around the Pixel 4 phones, including hands-on videos with early versions of the handsets.

The Pixel 4 and the Pixel 4 XL will at last get their official unveiling on October 15, and we think Google might have a few other hardware surprises in store too. Whatever is on the way, we'll bring you all the news as it happens.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.