Gadgets for humans

Google finally lets you adjust ‘Okay Google’ sensitivity

"Hey Google, what's the weather like? Hey Google! HEY GOOGLE?!?"


There are two kinds of people in this world. Those whose smart devices never react to ‘Hey Google!’ and those whose devices are triggered way too often. Whichever camp you lie in, Google will at long last allow you to fine-tune your Assistant’s keyword sensitivity soon.

Google first announced this feature would arrive ‘soon’ way back in December, but clearly the company has a different definition of the word than I do. Whatever the cause for the delay, the feature is finally rolling out to users ‘gradually,’ the company confirmed to The Verge. The update was first spotted by XDA’s Mishaal Rahman, who found the feature while messing with Google Home’s code.

As shown in Rahman’s screenshots, the feature includes a simple slider that let you adjust the speaker from ‘least sensitive’ to ‘most sensitive.’ The images also note that only the primary account can make changes to this setting.

Of course, without trying it ourselves, we can’t tell just how dramatic of a difference it makes, but it’s a welcome addition nonetheless. While most people seem to suffer from the Assistant being a little too sensitive on their devices, I often find myself shouting to be heard, which seems like some kind of sad metaphor.

Based on the above images, the sensitivity slider will be available under the device settings menu of the Google Home app once it rolls out to your particular account.

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Published April 21, 2020 — 23:20 UTC

Mishaal Rahman on Twitter