Quick phrases could let you skip ‘Hey, Google’ for common tasks

“Quick Phrase” is a new feature currently being developed for the Google Assistant that may one day allow you to skip saying “Hey Google” for common phrases like “What time is it?” or “Turn on the lights”, nine to five google report. This feature hasn’t been officially announced yet, and it’s unclear when it will launch or exactly which devices will support it.

This feature appeared last April under the codename “Guacamole”. At the time, they were called “voice shortcuts” and their functions were limited to silencing alarms and timers or answering incoming calls. However, the new menu nine to five google Shows a much wider range of actions, or “salsa,” which Google has nicknamed the actions. These salsa include the ability to ask about the weather, skip songs, set alarms and timers, plus the ability to silence them.

A menu showing quick phrases that can be activated.
Image: 9to5Google

It looks like you need to individually enable certain commands in the settings menu to make them work without the word wake up. Voice Match is then used to ensure that it responds only to your own voice. Another menu item suggests that you can set the phrase to work on your phone as well as other Google Assistant devices.

nine to five google It guesses the feature works by expanding the list of wake-up phrases your assistant device is actively listening to. By default the software is only receiving “Hey, Google” or “OK, Google” wake-up phrases, but probably if you add “What time is it?” As a Quick Phrase, this effectively becomes a wake-up phrase on its own.

A similar feature introduced in 2019 already exists on Google’s Nest smart speakers and displays, so you can silence an alarm without having to say a wake-up call first. Quick Phrases can dramatically extend this capability to potentially cover a variety of other common tasks.

This is an interesting feature, especially for smart home controls that activate quickly without much thought. However, Google software will stop working to avoid mistaking other random sounds for an expanded list of wake-up phrases.

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