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Google Assistant Quick Phrases Will Let You Answer Calls, Snooze Alarms

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Google was last month spotted working on a feature that would let you use Assistant without hotwords in certain situations. The Assistant will be listening to you without you having to say the “Hey Google” or “OK Google” hotword. The company calls this feature “Quick Phrases”. It appears Google has made some progress with the development of this feature as the folks over at XDA Developers have been able to use Quick Phrases on a Pixel 3 XL running the latest Android 12 beta, with the Google App version 12.39.17.29.

On mobile, Quick Phrases seems to have limited functionality. You can use the feature during incoming calls or when an alarm or timer goes off. Google Assistant will be on standby during these situations. When you have an incoming call, you can simply say ‘Answer’ or ‘Decline’ and it will act accordingly. You won’t have to say the hotword to wake up the Assistant.

Similarly, when an alarm goes off, you can say ‘Snooze’ or ‘Stop’ without preceding the command with the Hey Google/OK Google hotword. You will be able to add time to your timer in the same manner. Google will remind you that you don’t need to say the hotword with a small chip underneath the incoming call or alarm/timer heads-up notification.

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Google Assistan Quick Phrases incoming call
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Google Assistant Quick Phrases have problems of their own

Quick Phrases will be handy at times where you can’t quickly reach your phone. However, as Google warns, you may also run into problems with the feature. Assistant may pick up your call if you say “answer” without realizing that you have an incoming call, or perhaps someone else says “answer” when you wanted to decline or ignore the call. Worse yet, the Assitant may also answer the call if it hears something that sounds similar to “answer.”

Google could use Voice Match to ensure that the Assistant picks up the call only when you are giving the command. But the other possible problems that may arise while using Quick Phrases might still be too big for people to use the feature. Hopefully, the company will be able to resolve them pretty soon.

Nonetheless, it appears Google is all set to roll out Quick Phrases to users soon. Once available, you can enable it from Google Assistant’s settings.

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Quick Phrases will also come to other Assistant devices, like smart speakers and smart displays. Perhaps, as the aforementioned report suggested, the feature will be a lot more useful on these devices. We will be keeping an eye on when Google starts rolling out the new Assistant feature.

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