Few people know that Google Assistant is not just a way to do easy voice searches. On the contrary, the name does not come by chance: he is one of the most powerful voice assistants on the market, being in direct competition with the giants Siri and Alexa, respectively from Apple and Amazon.
Like the other assistants, it will tell you the weather, add reminders and can even be connected to the user’s preferred apps and streaming services.
To help you discover the main functions of the wizard, we have prepared this guide with 20 tips for you to take advantage of Google’s artificial intelligence.
Basic Google Assistant settings
To access the settings, just open the Google app (default app on Android , usually a widget on the home screen), click on More, in the lower right corner, Settings and open the Google Assistant tab to access the various menus that will serve as the basis for most of the functions that we will explain in this publication.
By default, Google Assistant is also set to open every time you hold down the middle button (at the bottom of your screen) for a few seconds, which is useful if you want to select one of the functions displayed on the screen but are in an environment with noise pollution.
First of all, it is worth remembering that you can download the app from the App Store (iOS) or from the Play Store – the “Google” app is already installed at the factory in the case of Android.
Enable / Disable the function
If for some reason you have disabled Google Assistant in the past and want to reactivate it, just go to the Assistant tab, scroll down to Devices and select the device you want to add. The option can be clicked again if you want to remove the wizard.
Enable voice reference
In order to help your assistant to recognize your voice (and use one of the most useful functions in this guide, “OK Google”), Voice Match is activated.
To do this, go to Assistant, select your device and click on the first option in the Voice Match section. If you did not register a voice when you first opened Google Assistant, this is your cue.
You just need to repeat a few variations of “Ok, Google” for the system to recognize you – and, luckily, no one else’s voice.
‘Ok Google’ without unlocking the screen
One of the most useful functions is to be able to carry out commands without having to pick up the phone. It can be on your desk or, for example, on your car dashboard (while your hands are busy, in these two scenarios).
To use Voice Match without having to unlock the screen, go to the Assistant tab, scroll down to your device and activate the Personal Results area on the lock screen.
As explained in the print, there is a way to send messages or listen to information, among other options explained by clicking on “Learn more”.
Delete / reset voice reference
To delete your voice model and, consequently, disable the function when you say “Ok, Google” with the screen locked, just go to the area mentioned in the previous items (Assistant> Phone) and click on Voice model to delete.
In this same area, it is possible to reset it, which is useful if you have a used device where a voice has already been registered.
By far, the function more “personal assistant guy,” shared among other assistants competition (such as Alexa, the Amazon ) is to create routines.
In the Assistant tab you will see the option and, selecting it, you can create or customize your routines. In the example on the right, we have the “On the way to work” routine to explain how the routines are patterned.
First you define the voice command (what you will say), then there is a list of functions/answers that the assistant will do (a list of actions ) that you can even change the order of, and finally, there is how to add music or a radio station.
Context on screen
Did you know that you can use some of Google’s artificial intelligence to know what you’re seeing on your phone?
So, when the function is activated, you give the assistant permission to display information related to what is on the screen – such as, for example, links to YouTube videos or an actor’s IMDb page. To activate the on-screen context, go to your Device (under the Assistant tab ) and turn on Use screen context.
Link with Spotify
To ask the assistant to play music, say “Ok, Google” followed by an artist or genre (example: “play Gorillaz on Spotify”). By default, your account will not be linked, so just go to Music, in the Services tab, and go down to Spotify.
By selecting Google Play Music, for example, you will be able to play the songs from this service and also those from your device (if registered correctly). In the same window, you can choose which default player you prefer.
Link to Netflix
Similar to Spotify, another possible link is with another very popular streaming service: Netflix. To link your accounts and open the app with voice commands, go to Services, Videos and Photos and click on the item in the videos area.
If you have a recent Chromecast, you can order Google to open, for example, “Orange Is The New Black on the TV in the living room” ( program name followed by device name ).
Show your photos
In the same area as the previous item (Services> Videos and Photos), you can see your Google Photos account registered on the device. When doing the standard voice command (“open my photos” or similar), it will open the app in question – instead of your device’s image gallery.
If you’re familiar with how Google Photos categorizes what it recognizes as “objects”, “people”, “animals” and etc., the voice command may be a good choice, as you can only say “show pictures of my dog” that a list will appear.
Customize your news feed
To see news in general, just use the voice command and the app will open blocks of text with title and image without migrating to the browser.
Remembering that the list is not the same as Google Chrome suggests. In this second scenario, the options are more refined.
To set up Google Assistant and show news in a way more similar to Chrome: go to the app, go to Services > News to enable or disable your favorite sources. Unfortunately, there is no customizable RSS feed, as in competitor services ( cof cof, Amazon).
For sports news, you can choose a specific branch or team and ask questions like “the result of the last game ” or “ when will X team play? “. In our tests, the app recognized more than 10 teams of different names (including AFE, Mirassol and Aparecidense) and said the championship table and even the team roster.
Add Home / Workplace
To optimize your routines and see traffic smoothly, it is very useful to find your home and work through the app. To do this, open the You tab and go down to Your seats. It is still possible to add different locations, such as “boyfriend’s home” or a favorite stopping point.
In the same tab as the previous item, it is possible to create a nickname for you. So, when you ask “what’s my name?” the Google Assistant can respond good-natured way, for example. To do this, go to Nickname and edit the name in the top box. You can also add the Spell option if your name is not in the Portuguese vocabulary of the wizard.
Searching apps on the Play Store
If the laziness hits when you need to go to the Play Store and type an application with a giant name, don’t be afraid: just say the “name of the application” followed by “in the Play Store” and the wizard will open that app store leaving everything ready so you just click “download”.
If you don’t use the Google Keep reminder platform, a quick way to add a reminder is with Assistant voice commands. Just say ” what to remember ” followed by a specific time range or day/time.
After adding your locations (one of the previous items), you can make a creative combination of reminders, such as simply “remind me to call my mom when I get home”.
If you want to activate the alarm for a special time tomorrow morning or if you want something less subtle than a reminder (in case you are making a cake, for example), just say “set an alarm” followed by a period or time specific – such as “for 13 hours from now” or “for Friday at 8 pm”.
One of the most popular routines (a function explained in a previous item) is “ Good Morning ”. By default, there is a sequence of four actions: weather forecast, route information, today’s schedule and today’s reminders.
All items are customizable, and you can also change their order and deactivate them. In practice, just test it: say “Good morning” and watch the sequence of actions happen – as illustrated above. Of course, it is also possible to ask only “what is the weather forecast for?” to get the image response on the right.
Did you travel to another country or find a lost tourist around here? The Google Assistant helps you: just say what to translate followed by the language (example “go ahead, in French”).
It is worth remembering that he translates everything that is in Google Translate, but he will only understand the standard languages you add via voice command, so it may be that a “portunhol” passes by, but he will not understand a German speaker – at least, not before you add the language to your system.
Games and other entertainment
Other useful hobbies are more relaxed orders: you can ask him to toss a coin (or just “heads or tails”), tell you a joke, throw a dice, say the meaning of life or say a random number.
Optionally, you can just say “play a game” and be surprised. A function that few know to be integrated with Google Assistant is to recognize music. Just click on the microphone and select the musical note or just say “what song is that?” for the wizard.