7 Features That Will Change How You Use Google Assistant


Google Assistant is the most popular voice assistant

Google Assistant, the voice assistant from the tech giant Google, is one of the most widely known and used voice assistants at the moment. This is mainly because Google had already become too powerful even before launching it, but also because the AI powered assistant offers great features and integrations with many devices including smartphones and IoT devices. 

Like Siri from Apple, Cortana from Microsoft, Alexa from Amazon and Bixby from Samsung, Google Assistant keeps getting updates and enhancements every year that make it better and better. Google is also expanding the languages supported by the virtual assistant with more languages added from time to time. 

What is Google Assistant?

Google Assistant is an artificial intelligence powered virtual assistant developed by Google. With a virtual assistant, anybody can make their life easier as it can activate tasks on the smartphone or other smart devices with voice commands. This means a virtual assistant user can control most of the features of their smart speaker with only voice command given to the phone or to the speaker itself. 

The AI assistant from Google is available on any Android phone that works with Android 6 Marshmallow or any later version of Android, which means you don't have to get one of Google's products to start using the great features it offers. Google has also released the assistant on iOS to compete with Siri, and it is available to download and use for free on App Store. 

Google Assistant - artificial intelligence powered virtual assistant

Ensuring that Google Assistant is working

To get the assistant working on your Android phone, head to the Google app and under the Google Assistant tab ensure that the 'Turn on' button is activated. For Apple users, the Google Assistant app will be available for download on the App Store if it is already available in your region. 

One of the greatest features of the virtual assistant from Google is that it doesn't require any skills to be downloaded like Alexa does. You just start using it and it works fine. 

Although, you may be missing much of what the assistant can help you do, so here are some of the best features you may be missing when using the assistant. 

Features that will change the way you use Google Assistant

Finding your phone 

Find my lost phone with Google Assistant

If you own a smart band or a smart watch, you may use it to find your phone if it is lost at your home, and if you don't, there is a great solution some don't know about. Owning a Google Home speaker means that you can tell it 'Find my phone' and the assistant will ask you at what volume you want your phone to ring so that you find it. 

When you find the phone, you can immediately stop the ring, just like how the "find my phone" feature works normally, but without needing to own a wearable or opening your PC. The feature can be also used by other family members once Assistant is trained to their voices. So the feature can be time saving for the whole home, not just you. 

Sending WhatsApp messages quickly 

We all get to the point we want to take a break from chatting, and the Assistant has the answer to this. You can try saying 'Send a message with WhatsApp' to the Assistant and you are then allowed to say what you need to send. Once you tell the message, it reads it back to you for confirmation. That still sounds a bit long, but it is better than typing when you don't feel like it. 

This feature works great if you can't get the phone out of your pocket or don't want to. This feature works for all types of headphones, but while it works with Bluetooth ones without any changes in the settings, for wired headphones you will need to make a change in the settings. Through the Google App settings, head to 'Voice and Hands-free' and make sure 'For wired headsets' is checked. 

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Adding new Google Assistant commands 

One of the greatest features of the virtual assistant is that it allows you to create your own custom commands. To get started, you need to use the If This Then That (IFTTT) software which will create the custom commands you can then integrate to Google Assistant using Tasker app. 

Sending a broadcast message 

Send a broadcast message all around the house

One of the best features of owning smart speakers is to broadcast messages everywhere in your home. This feature is already available with Google Assistant and all you need to do is say "Broadcast" or "Shout" or "Tell everyone" or "Announce", followed by the message you want to broadcast. 

This feature is very nice to use  especially if you have kids. The Assistant also allows you to play other sounds, to have better ways of announcing things to your family. 

Setting up an alarm quickly

You are just about to sleep and you remember that you didn't set an alarm for tomorrow? Google's virtual assistant will help you. All you need to do is say "Set an alarm for 8 AM tomorrow" and that is everything. No need to look again on the phone or do anything.

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Adding multiple users 

Making more than one user use the same smart speaker wasn't possible in the past because assistants had difficulties in distinguishing voices so it wouldn't know who is telling the command from the users, but that is becoming just part of the past. Google Assistant now allows up to six users to use its Google Home speakers each with their own Google Account and information including playlists, calendars and preferences. 

Getting news and weather forecasts

Use home assistant with handsfree voice commands

If you are doing anything and don't have free hands for holding the phone and reading the news, the virtual assistant can do it for you. When the assistant asks "How may I help you?", all you need to say is "Good Morning" or "Good evening" and the assistant will start telling you the top news. 

This works the same for the weather as you can ask the assistant "What's the weather today?", which is another feature that works perfectly especially if you are busy. You can also ask more detailed questions like "Will it rain today?" and the assistant will tell you. 

Google Assistant is a very powerful virtual assistant and it keeps improving. All of the mentioned features can help you have an easier day and make the most of your phone without holding it. They can be even more advantageous if you are busy and need to do things quickly and multitask. 

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