Google Assistant now has an option that silences its chatty replies, showing responses on-screen only.
Google's voice-enabled assistant can be extremely helpful, but until now it's also been quite loud, even if you speak to it quietly. As Android Police reports, the new mode means you can finally use it at night, in a library, or anywhere else its dulcet tones won't be appreciated.
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To silence Google on your smartphone, open Assistant, select the 'Explore' option, open the settings and go to the 'Assistant' tab. Tap 'Phone' and look for the option 'Hands-free only' under 'Voice and speech'.
As the name of this setting implies, Google Assistant will still give spoken replies when the phone is in hands-free mode, so you don't need to look down at the screen if you're driving.
It's all so quiet
The new silent mode only works on smartphones, which stands to reason since most Google Home speakers lack screens.
It's possible that a similar option might arrive on the Google Home Hub in the future, but for the time being perhaps it's for the best that Google Assistant on speakers can't be silenced – that way your housemates can't complain they didn't know you'd set a voice reminder for them to empty the dishwasher.