Google Assistant features to get the most from your Android smartphone



Google Assistant features to get the most from your Android smartphone


© Pranav Hegde
Google Assistant features to get the most from your Android smartphone

In case you are not aware, Google Assistant is available for all Android smartphones. It’s either built-in and if not, you can install it from the Google Play Store. Google Assistant not only works great for answering your queries, but it also has some other useful features. Below is a list.

1. Schedule devices to start working – This one needs you to have a connected home to function properly. You can use smart plugs that are compatible with Google Assistant and plug-in your home appliances/devices as well. Once you have everything connected, you can use Google Assistant to schedule actions for each connected item. E.g., you can have your TV turned off at 11.30 every night, or you can set your AC to start at 6 pm before you reach home and so on.

2. Help you locate things – How often have you kept an item somewhere safe, and when you need to remember where the particular item is, you cannot remember? Google Assistant has a feature that is a solution to this problem. Whenever you store something safely, say to Google Assistant, ‘ Hey Google, my locker keys are in the top shelf of study cabinet.’ Google Assistant will save this information. The next time you need to look for anything, ask Google Assistant where the item is. In this case, e.g., you will ask, ‘Hey Google, where are my locker keys’ and Google will tell you where you had kept them using the information provided earlier.

3. Read Articles for You – You can have Google Assistant read out long-form articles from any website. Note, you would have to enable Screen context in the Assistant settings to use this function properly. If it’s not enabled, Google Assistant would ask you to enable it when you say the command. Whenever you are on any website, open Google Assistant and say the command ‘Read this page.’ Google Assistant will start reading the text on the page and intelligently skip any unrelated text of advertisements or other website links. You can even change the read speed as well as skip 30 seconds forward to the page.

4. Interpreter mode – Google Assistant can act as a live interpreter for you with its Interpreter mode. It currently supports more than 40 languages, and all you need to do is identify the language being spoken. Once you know the language name, bring up Google Assistant and say the command ‘Hey Google, be my Thai interpreter.’ This would enable the interpreter mode, and you will get a real-time translation of what you speak on your smartphone or your smart speaker. If you are travelling and are not familiar with the local language, this feature of Google Assistant is a lifesaver.

5. Broadcast Message like an Intercom – Another feature that requires you to have multiple Google Assistant-powered home devices. With the broadcast command, you can have each home device speak out your instruction loudly to the connected devices. These devices can be placed anywhere in the home and connected with your account for this functionality to work. You need to say the command’ Hey Google, Broadcast that’ followed by your message, and it would play it across all devices just like an intercom.

6. Identify any playing songs – While Shazam is a clear winner in recognizing songs, you can also use Google Assistant for the same function. Say the command ‘Hey Google, what song is this’; Google Assistant will listen to the song and then help you identify the song name. Again, it’s not as great as Shazam in accuracy, but it gets the job done.

7. Remind you of things to do at a particular location – One of the most useful features for Google Assistant is location-based reminders. Use the command ‘Hey Google, set a reminder,’ and Google Assistant will ask you details about what the reminder is regarding. Once you have given that detail, you will need to set the detail on when you should be reminded. This is where you have to specify a location – try to be as exact as possible by giving as much detail as possible regarding the location. After the Assistant’s details have been captured, the location-based reminder will notify you whenever you reach the particular location next time.

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