Google App 10.83 tests “Lift to Talk” for Google Assistant on the Pixel 4
Thanks to multiple leaks, we knew pretty much everything about the Pixel 4 smartphones before launch. Some of the rumored features of the new Pixel devices have yet to materialize, however. One such feature was said to be a new way to launch the Google Assistant on the latest Pixel: raise to talk. According to 9to5Google, raise to talk is a feature that lets you lift your phone to start talking to the Google Assistant. Although the feature didn’t launch with the new Pixel, we did confirm on two separate occasions that the feature is in development. Now, we managed to get the feature partially working in Google App v10.83 while at the same time revealing more details about how it might work.
Once (or rather, if) the feature goes live, you’ll see a new “Lift to talk” toggle in Settings > Apps & notifications > Assistant. The description for the feature says you’ll be able to “hold your phone to your face to talk to your Assistant.”
When I enabled the feature, the Google Assistant would activate whenever I unlocked the Pixel 4. However, this seems to be a bug in its behavior because the Google Assistant should only activate when the phone detects you’ve lifted it up to your face. In fact, each time that the Google Assistant is launched, I saw a toast notification at the bottom informing me that something is “missing data from sensors” including the gyroscope, accelerometer, swipe, and presence. Data from the gyroscope and accelerometer are likely used to determine the Pixel 4’s orientation and whether it was lifted or simply slightly moved from its current position. The “swipe” and “presence” sensors likely refer to data pulled from the Soli radar that powers Motion Sense gestures on the Pixel 4. Thus, it looks like “lift to talk” for Google Assistant might be limited to the Pixel 4 at launch.
I hope Google manages to implement the feature so there won’t be too many false positives, because I sure don’t want Google Assistant to activate every time I hold my phone up to unlock. If this feature starts rolling out or we manage to get it fully working to try for ourselves, we’ll let you know. You can download the latest version of the Google App from the Google Play Store link below.
Thanks to PNF Software for providing us a license to use JEB Decompiler, a professional-grade reverse engineering tool for Android applications.