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Custom hotwords and secondary languages could be coming to Google Assistant

A recent analysis of the Google app 7.20 APK has hinted at some exciting new potential features.

Published onJanuary 30, 2018

  • A Google app teardown has revealed some new feature that may arrive to Assistant, including custom hotwords and secondary languages.
  • Custom hotwords would allow users to create their own version of the existing “OK Google” and “Hey Google” hotwords.
  • A secondary language could be set up to allow Assistant to respond to queries in two languages.

A recent analysis of the Google app 7.20 APK has hinted at some exciting new potential features. These include custom hotwords and the ability to choose a primary and secondary language for the Google Assistant.

While these features have long been expected, the analysis by 9to5Google suggests that they could be making an appearance on Android devices sooner rather than later. These analyses are usually pretty accurate with previous ones correctly predicting the Pixel 2’s “Active Edge” feature.

Previously, the only way to wake up the Google Assistant on your Android phone with your voice was to say the hotword “OK Google.” In an update last month, Google also added the ability for users to use the hotword “Hey Google.” This not only gave people an extra way to wake up their device but also brought it inline with the Google Home smart speaker.

While this was great, many users still wanted the ability to use a hotword of their choosing and it seems that Google is finally going to add this feature. This could result in a more natural experience for people who find it awkward to use one of the existing hotwords or who find that the existing hotwords set their Google assistant off too easily.

A more consequential change, albeit one that may affect a much smaller number of users, is the potential for users to set up a primary and a secondary language on their smart assistants. For people that speak multiple languages, the ability to use all the Google Assistant features in two languages could be a game changer.

As well as these two major features, the APK analysis also revealed a number of other things that could potentially make their way into future updates. These include:

  • A feature that could allow users to remove podcasts downloaded using Google’s built-in podcast player after either 30 days or 24 hours.
  • Google Duo integration with the recently announced Google Smart Displays.
  • Google Express integration that could note and track the status of your orders in Google Home and Assistant.
  • An updated recent icon that will match the appearance of the recent icon with the Google app bottom bar.

Of course, there is a chance that some of the features won’t end up making it into future versions of the Google app. However, if they do, which features do you think you will be most likely to use?

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