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Google could soon let you use the power button to summon Assistant

There's no shortage of ways to activate the Assistant, but it looks like Google is offering yet another option.

Published onMay 11, 2021

Google Pixel 3a Purple-ish Assistant Logo
  • Google is working on the ability to let you summon Assistant via your phone’s power button.
  • OEMs have previously offered this functionality on their devices.

Google already lets you summon the Google Assistant with either a wake-word, a gesture from the corners, and more. But it looks like the company is working on yet another way to activate its voice assistant.

XDA-Developers has dug into version of the Google app and discovered references to the Assistant being triggered via a phone’s power button. “To talk to your Assistant, touch and hold power button, then release,” reads one snippet of text buried in the code.

This wouldn’t be the first time we see the power button used to trigger the Google Assistant, as manufacturers like OPPO and HUAWEI have previously offered this capability. HUAWEI’s older devices, for example, let you activate the Assistant after holding the power button for one second. So presumably Google will follow this route too.

XDA‘s Mishaal Rahman was able to find the feature on a Pixel 3 XL running the Android 12 developer preview by searching for it, but he wasn’t able to turn it on. In saying so, we’re guessing this feature will simply be rolled out via an update to the Google app rather than as an Android 12 feature. In other words, there’s a good chance that your phone will receive it.

This latest news comes after Google tested the ability to summon Assistant via a double-tap gesture on the back of phones in early Android 11 previews last year. But it looks like the double-tap gesture could now be coming to Android 12 instead. So there’s no shortage of ways to activate Google’s assistant.