google pixel 4 xl revisited assistant
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Google Assistant’s quick phrases feature is now available on some Android devices.
  • The feature allows users to skip the “Ok/Hey Google” hotword to answer calls or dismiss alarms.

Greeting Google Assistant before answering a phone call or dismissing an alarm soon won’t be a requirement. The voice assistant is now gaining quick phrases, a feature that will allow users to issue commands without saying, “Hey Google.”

As first detailed in September, quick phrases will allow Assistant to react to commands without the need for a hotword. Notably, XDA-Developers describes how these commands can be as brief as one word to control phone calls or alarms. For instance, users can command “Answer” or “Decline” for incoming phone calls without additional activation prompts. The same goes for alarms. Barking “Snooze” or “Stop” delays or cancels the ringer. Google is reportedly planning several additional commands, too, for controlling music, timers, and smart home items, jotting down notes, and setting reminders.

It’s an excellent addition for those looking for more immediate voice control or in moments when devices are out of reach. Of course, someone shouting “please answer your phone” from across the room may accidentally pick up your call. Mumbling “snooze” while half asleep may not be a great way to get to work on time, either. Essentially, you might want to use quick phrases with discretion.

See also: Essential Google Assistant commands you should know

Those who use “Hey Google” to greet Assistant might also find the new feature jarring. More than three in four readers in a recent poll admitted using “please” and “thank you” in conversations with their voice assistants. Understandably, single-word commands may be a bit too curt for some.

XDA‘s Mishaal Rahman notes that the feature was discovered on a Pixel 3 XL running Android 12 beta, but Google has yet to announce the feature’s availability formally. That said, we can likely expect quick phrases to make its way to more devices in the coming weeks.