‘What is Google Assistant?’ explains how to use and modify Google’s smart assistant on any device that supports it

We are, without a doubt, in the midst of a smart assistant revolution. Since the spring 2011 release of Apple’s smart assistant, Siri, competitors such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google have responded with their own virtual assistants.

While most smart assistants have the same set of standard skills, such as accessing the internet or setting a timer, not all smart assistants are created equal.

Recent enhancements to Google’s assistant could offer it a competitive advantage over other smart assistants.

Google Assistant, as told by Google

The smart assistant’s most recent evolution Google Assistant, the company’s AI-powered smart assistant, was first released in 2012.

Google Assistant is marketed as a user’s “personal Google,” meant to help them navigate their own hectic lives the way Google might help them traverse a crowded web, in a lighthearted homage to their search engine.

Google Assistant is a voice and text assistant that is included into most Android phones and Google Home devices.

When and where can you use Google Assistant?

To summon Google Assistant, simply say “OK Google” or “Hey Google” on an Android phone or with a Google Home, and the assistant will appear at the bottom of your screen. Squeezing the bottom of your phone will also work if you have a Pixel phone.

It’s as simple as downloading the Google Assistant app for iPhone users. Users may then link the assistant to their main Google account, giving it access to their calendar and crucial correspondence, such as restaurant or flight bookings.

Users may use Google Assistant even when they are not near their Google Home or their phones, thanks to its connectivity with Android devices and Google accounts.

Android Auto automobiles, wearables like Google’s smartwatch and Pixel Buds, Nest security products, and a number of non-Google smart displays are all compatible with Google Assistant. The normal “OK Google” or “Hey Google” call is also answered by all of these devices.

What can Google Assistant help you with?

What can you do with Google Assistant after it’s up and running?

You can teach Google Assistant to give you news briefings (on-demand or at pre-determined times), answer inquiries like “What’s the weather like?” or “When does the sun set today?” and play music from Spotify and YouTube Music, just like other smart assistants. Google Assistant may also be used to cast TV or movies to Chromecast TVs.

When asked “Hey Google, what’s my day look like?” Google Assistant, which has access to a user’s Google calendar and emails, can also provide a briefing on the user’s agenda for the day ahead.

Google Assistant also has certain cutting-edge capabilities that rivals like Amazon’s Alexa have yet to match, such as a built-in interpretation.

Google Assistant may be used in real time to translate a conversation where both individuals are speaking a different language by asking, “Hey Google, be my Spanish interpreter.”

If you order a paella in Spain, for example, Google Assistant can translate both your request and the server’s response into English.

Google Assistant may also be used to screen calls and avoid potential scam calls.

When receiving a phone call, users have the option of answering or rejecting the call as usual, or having Google Assistant pick up and screen the call.

Like when someone leaves a voicemail, the user can listen to Google Assistant ask why the person is calling and decide whether or not to take up the call depending on the response – genuine or appearing from a script.

How to Make Google Assistant Work for You

Explore your Google Assistant’s settings and toggle on and off extra options to make sure you’re getting the most out of it.

You can choose whether to hear the weather, the news, or a traffic report in the “My Day” briefing on a phone running Google Assistant, for example. You can also choose what kind of news you want to hear to prevent Google from playing other kind of news.

And, as with any good assistant, part of using Google Assistant is letting it take over time-consuming activities for you.

Instead of struggling to shoot a selfie on your own, simply say “OK Google, take a selfie,” and the assistant will open the camera and set a 3-second timer for the perfect shot.

Users can now ask Google Assistant to switch on or off their phone’s flashlight without touching it.

Another unusual tool to use with your smartphone’s assistance is something called Lens.

The assistant will launch the phone’s camera and help users learn more about what they’re seeing by hitting the lens icon within the Google Assistant app.

If the user focuses their camera towards a plant or a dog, for example, the assistant can look up information about the species or breed.

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