Google appears to be mashing up a tasty new feature for the Google Assistant. As spotted by Android Police, the company is readying a feature codenamed ‘Guacamole’ that will let you talk to the Google Assistant without actually having to say ‘Hey Google.’
At this point, it’s not just a leak or rumor — several people have noticed the Guacamole right in their Assistant settings, including yours truly.
Tapping on this setting leads to a menu called ‘Voice shortcuts’ with a subtitle that says one can “skip saying ‘Hey Google’ for help with quick tasks.
Unfortunately, toggling the feature on doesn’t actually seem to do anything at this point, and the link provided doesn’t work.
Assistant users could already access some voice functionality without saying ‘Hey Google.’ For example, you can ask repeated questions and hold ‘conversations,’ without having to repeat the wake word, and you can turn off alarms and timers on Nest devices by simply saying ‘stop’ once they start ringing.
But according to 9to5Google, Guacamole will take Google’s AI chops to another level (there’s a sentence I didn’t expect to be writing today). The aforementioned quick tasks will apparently include being able to stop and snooze alarms on your phone and answer or decline calls.
No other features were mentioned, but still, it’s a start towards more natural conversations with the Google Assistant.
Guacamole was apparently supposed to be exclusive to Google employees testing the functionality, so someone must’ve screwed up the rollout. Still, with Google I/O happening next month, there’s a good chance we’ll hear more about this tasty feature then.
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