Most people know about Google Assistant and the devices it’s on. And most people are getting a ton of benefits from its use in daily life. I’ve talked about my favorite Google Routines and how much they simplify life instead of having tech make things worse. But one thing I’ve noticed is about 1% of the people I know effectively use Google Assistant. Yes, it’s fun to ask it what time it is and ask it questions about something you don’t know, but…there’s a whole world of utility-type functions that Google Assistant can do that are super efficient and not a lot of people use.
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The Most Valuable Google Assistant Tips:
So what else can you do beyond the usual tasks with Google Assistant rather than ask it about the time and weather? Granted, those are important and very popular voice commands, but here are some valuable Google Assistant tips that I think most people are either unaware of or haven’t realized how efficient they can make life:
1. Find Your Phone
Do you not know where your phone is located? You can simply say “OK Google, detect my phone” from an account-connected smart speaker with Google Assistant enabled. To locate your phone, just listen for the ringing (or pinging). In the unfortunate event that you forget your phone, Google Assistant makes it simple to locate it.
2. Allow Google to Screen Your Calls
Why not let Google Assistant handle the spam calls? If you get a call from a hidden number or from anyone with whom you don’t wish to speak, tap the screen-appearing Screen Call button. A live transcription of the conversation will be provided by Google Assistant when it answers the call. You can either hang up or jump in.
Another fun phone hack is reducing the time you waste waiting on hold for customer support. If you have the Phone app by Google, go to Settings, then Hold for Me. What this does is every time you are on hold with a customer support rep (or any toll-free number), Google Assistant will give you the option to hold the call until the phone rep comes on. Please note that this is only available on Google Pixel Phones and select Android phones.
3. Control Phone Setting
You can easily control many important phone settings with your voice including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi settings. Using a phrase like “OK Google, activate airplane mode”, or “OK Google, activate do not disturb” or “OK Google, activate the flashlight” you can communicate with Google on some of these more frequently used phone settings.
4. Make A Phone Call
You can easily make a phone call simply with voice commands. And it’s not just those in your personal contacts either. You can place a phone call to any publicly listed business. Another cool little hack, just say, “on speakerphone” after your request and Google Assistant will automatically activate your phone speaker so you don’t even have to touch your device.
5. Control Your Data And Settings
With Google Assistant, you can control and examine your data and activities. To control your data simply say: “OK Google, remove the last things I said to you.” Similarly, you can delete your data from the last week or month as well. To review your privacy settings and to learn more about how Google Assistant uses your personal data, you can also ask Google, “Ok Google, what do you do with my data?”
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6. About Location
Using Google Assistant, you can easily get your location. Using location-based Google Assistant commands is one of the power features with Google. I just don’t think it is used enough. Even when running a task or errand to a location I’ve been to a hundred times, I’ll use location-based commands and I’ve avoided construction delays and traffic jams even going to places I know. This little nuance is not an exercise in futility. You also find out more about the location where you want to go and set reminders with general locations too. Again…leveraging your Google Assistant to tell you about directions and the distance from your destination (even if you know the location) is a valuable tip.
7. Google Assistant At The Lock Screen
You can communicate with Google Assistant even if your Android phone is locked. Ask for a weather prediction, or reminder, or get control without locking the screen. All you need to do is go to Assistant settings and under All settings select Lock screen. From there, turn Allow Assistant on the lock screen on or off.
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8. Set Reminders
Setting reminders is probably one of the most useful tips for using Google Assistant. These can be simple reminders such as “OK Google, remind me to call the doctor on Friday” or “OK Google, remind me to take out the trash every Tuesday at 9 PM.” Or they can be a little more complex like “OK Google, remind me to walk Gladys’ dog every Tuesday and Thursday at 9 AM this month at Riverside Park on Arthur Avenue.”
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9. Sending A Text
The voice-to-text technology with assistants has come a long way in just a few short years. At first, I wasn’t a big fan because I found myself going back and editing the text I said anyway. Wasn’t a valuable tool for me. But in recent years Google Assistant’s voice-to-text has been phenomenal. You can literally send a text without edits and without even lifting a finger. A little bonus: if you have the Messages app from Google, you can even ask Google Assistant to read text messages to you.
Here’s Your Challenge…
So here’s your homework assignment: this week I want you to use just one of these. Pick the one you think will be the easiest for you and use it this week. Google Assistant is a great tool that seriously makes remedial tasks in life really simple. And it’s not just for the professional who wants to stay more organized and streamline business operations. Anyone can benefit from these effective tips and tools in Google Assistant.