Google is Working on a Long Press to Launch Assistant Gesture from the Always-on Display on the Pixel 2
Google has been constantly working to make it easier and easier to launch the Google Assistant on our smartphones and that doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. On most smartphones you can launch it with a simple long press of the home button or, if enabled, by speaking the Ok Google hotword. With the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL we now have the option of using the Active Edge squeeze gesture to launch the Google Assistant, but a commit we found suggests that Google was working on another gesture to launch Google Assistant.
Google’s Nexus and Pixel devices have had an Ambient Display feature for quick ways to access certain information such as the time, date, and notifications. We first learned about the always-on display feature of the two new Pixel phones back in July of this year and a couple of months later we showed you how to enable the feature on your Android 8.0 Oreo ROM. This new feature allowed Google to show information to the user much faster than before and they even utilize it for their new Now Playing feature.
While there isn’t much of a delay between using the Ok Google hotword to launch the Google Assistant as compared to squeezing your phone, many early users say they actually prefer using Active Edge to launch Assistant. The less friction Google puts between you and using the Google Assistant the more you are likely to use it. This is extremely prevalent in the Google Home and connected speaker device space as you don’t even need to be near the device at all to use the service.
We recently uncovered some code that suggests Google wasworking on adding a long press gesture to the always-on display to launch Google Assistant. We tried to enable this on the Google Pixel 2 by executing
settings put secure doze_pulse_on_long_press 1 in an ADB shell, but it didn’t seem to take effect as we couldn’t launch the assistant via the long press gesture.