Google Assistant may add Voice Shortcuts that don’t need “Hey Google” to activate
Google Assistant has gone on to be one of the handiest tools in our lives, as it allows us to interact with our smartphones while we’re not touching them. But if I want to use it that way, I have to say “Hey Google” in order for the Google Assistant to start listening to me. Else, I have to manually bring it up. “Hey Google” is the keyword that the Assistant uses to know if someone’s talking to it. Sometimes, though, “Hey Google” is too many words for doing things like snoozing your alarm, so Google might be adding “Voice Shortcuts” to the Google Assistant soon through something that’s apparently internally called Guacamole.
Voice Shortcuts are pretty much just short commands that will allow you to skip saying “Ok Google” for tasks like stopping an alarm or answering a call. Right now, the feature is not live, but we managed to get it to show up in the Google app’s Settings, just like Android Police and 9to5Google did. It’s not like we were able to do anything with the feature’s toggle, though, and none of the other two sites could either, as it doesn’t work just yet: the app tells you that you should read some terms and conditions before actually turning the feature on, but the link for those terms and conditions is broken, and the toggle doesn’t seem to do anything when you turn it on.
Ultimately, though, Google might be planning to introduce this feature to the Google Assistant during Google I/O 2021, which will be held virtually and free for everyone this year around motivated to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. So this clearly unfinished feature might’ve been made available by accident. We’ll probably learn more about this feature soon. Before it’s finished, Google might add or remove functionality or it might get scrapped completely—we don’t really know at this stage.