XDA Basics: How to open Google Assistant on Android

XDA Basics: How to open Google Assistant on Android

Google Assistant is arguably one of the best digital assistants available. It allows users to do a lot of things by just using their voice, and its feature-set keeps on increasing every year. In this guide, we’ll tell you about all the different ways you can open Google Assistant on Android quickly.

Before we start, it’s important to know that Google Assistant only works on Android devices with:

  • Android 5.0/5.1 with at least 1GB of RAM, or Android 6.0+ with at least 1.5GB of RAM
  • Google app version 6.13 or higher
  • Google Play services
  • 720p or higher screen resolution

For Android devices that are less powerful and run on Android (Go edition), there is Google Assistant Go.

Long press home button to open Google Assistant

Google Assistant - Long press home button

Long pressing the home button of your phone is the easiest and the quickest way to trigger Google Assistant. Once you long-press the home button, Google Assistant will appear at the bottom of the screen, and you’ll be able to give voice commands. If Google Assistant is switched off on your device, you’ll be asked to turn it on.

“Hey Google” or “OK Google” Hotword

Apart from the long press on the home button, Google Assistant can also be activated by saying “Hey Google” or “OK Google”. However, this option first needs to be enabled in Google Assistant’s settings to work.

  • To enable the option, open the Google app on your phone.
  • Tap on More at the bottom right.
  • Go to Settings, and then tap on Voice.
  • Now, tap on Voice Match, and enable Hey Google. This also enables OK Google detection on your phone.
  • Google will open a setup wizard, and you’ll need to agree to Voice Match. You then need to train Assistant to recognize your voice.
  • Assistant will also ask your permission to save the audio and let Google reviewers analyze it. You can say no if you want to.
  • Complete the rest of the setup wizard, and Hey Google / OK Google detection will be enabled.

With hotword detection enabled, you can say these two words anytime, even when the screen is locked or off, and Google Assistant will be triggered.

App Shortcut

Google Assistant icon

You can also install the Google Assistant app from Google Play to activate it using the app icon. The app itself doesn’t include the Assistant functionality, and the same is built into the main Google app. The app does allow you to better manage Google Assistant’s settings.

Once it’s installed, just tap on the Assistant icon in the app drawer to activate it. Or you can drag the icon to your phone’s homescreen. The app also offers a few shortcuts that can be accessed by long-pressing the app icon.

Side squeeze

Side squeeze

If you’re using Pixel 2, 3, 3a, or 4 and some other select phones, you can activate Google Assistant by simply squeezing the bottom half of the phone. It’s a part of the phone’s Active Edge feature.

If you own a non-Pixel phone with a barometer or Pixel 5, you can enable similar functionality using an app called SideSqueeze+. With it, you can do a lot of stuff around squeezing your phone, including adding a shortcut to Google Assistant.

SideSqueeze+
SideSqueeze+
Developer: Pocketdevelopers
Price: Free+

Dedicated button/ Button Mapper

Some Android devices, like most Nokia phones, come with a dedicated Google Assistant button. This button can be used to activate Google Assistant. It is in fact one of the quickest ways to trigger Assistant.

If your phone however doesn’t include a dedicated button for Assistant, you can use an app called Button Mapper to map a button to trigger it. The app is a free download, and you can map a number of other things, including Google Assistant, to different hardware buttons on your phone.

Button Mapper: Remap your keys
Button Mapper: Remap your keys
Developer: flar2
Price: Free+

These are the ways you can open Google Assistant on your Android smartphone. Which is your preferred way? Let us know!

About author

Gaurav Shukla
Gaurav Shukla

Gaurav has been covering technology for over a decade now. He has done everything from blogging about Android to reporting the latest from the world of Internet giants. When he is not writing about the tech companies, he can be found binge-watching new TV series on the web.