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You'll soon be able to say "Hey Google" to summon Google Assistant on your phone

Google's new hotword should be universally accessible in a few weeks, though some folks can use the command right now.

Published onOctober 22, 2017

Since Android 4.4 KitKat in 2013, the only way to pull up Google‘s virtual assistant with your voice is with the “OK Google” hotword. That changed a bit when the search giant launched Google Home, which lets you summon Google Assistant with both “OK Google” and “Hey Google.” That functionality seems to be slowly trickling down to phones, though it might not be available for your phone just yet.

I say that because the Hey Google hotword is not yet available on my Galaxy S8 Plus or Pixel XL. Even if your device might currently have the new hotword available, the folks over at Android Police found that it has been working on and off for various devices.

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Google Assistant stock photo 3

As such, support for the Hey Google command is not yet universal. When it lands on your device, however, you will get a notification saying as much, though you can also check the Google Play Store for an update to the Google app. From there, you can train Google Assistant to listen for your voice when you say either “OK Google” or “Hey Google.”

This may seem like a small change, but I am all for it. Personally, I find the Hey Google command more natural-sounding than “OK Google,” and having a little variety with how to summon Google Assistant is always nice. I do wish that you can use a custom hotword to summon Google Assistant, but a little variety is better than none, right?

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