You will soon be able to turn off speech output for Google Assistant on your phone
Google Assistant is undoubtedly one of the most useful applications out there. It helps navigate in unknown places, gives quick answers to questions, plays music via smart devices, and so on. Though, its loudness, especially on phones, has always annoyed me. There are times when the Assistant starts being chatty even when it is asked basic questions. It looks like Google itself has identified this annoyance as they are now offering a new way to interact with the Assistant. The new hands-free mode in Google Assistant completely mutes your experience with the Assistant.
AndroidPolice noticed an update in Google Assistant’s support page which details the new feature. It lets you disable speech output for Assistant so that it will only display the relevant information on the screen, quietly. To enable it, open Google Assistant via voice command or a gesture on your device, tap the Explore button (in the lower right corner), tap on your profile in the top right, then Settings > Assistant > Phone and select your preference under “Speech output.” I tested this on the Google Pixel and Pixel 3 and it worked charmingly on both.
The update is most likely enabled via server-side, as I haven’t received any Google app updates lately. It should be available on all devices that support Google Assistant, that is Android 5.0 Lollipop and higher. I’m a frequent user of the Assistant and I think that hands-free option will only push me to use it even more. If your device didn’t come with Google Assistant for some reason, you can download it from the Play Store listing below.