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New voice-free method for launching Google Assistant spotted on Pixel 4

You could soon be able to talk to the Google Assistant by simply lifting your phone.

Published onNovember 11, 2019

Google Pixel 4 XL Motion Sense light 4

Google Pixel 4 comes with the new Google Assistant which can be activated by using the wake word or by squeezing the edges of the phone. A feature called “Raise to talk” was also previously rumored to hit the Assistant on the Pixel 4. However, fresh evidence suggests that Google might still be ironing out some kinks in it.

Folks over at XDA Developers were able to get the new “Lift to talk” Assistant feature working on the Pixel 4 with Google App v10.83. The publication was able to access the “Lift to talk” toggle in the Assistant settings on the phone.

The description of the “Lift to talk” feature reads, “Hold your phone to your face and talk to your Assistant.”

It suggests that the Google Assistant will automatically start listening when someone raises their phone to their face. This is not how it worked for XDA though.

Google Assistant Lift to Talk XDA

Lift to Talk feature on Pixel 4 as accessed by XDA Developers

When enabled, the Google Assistant would activate every time the Pixel 4 was unlocked. XDA notes that this could be a bug, since each time the Google Assistant was launched this way, a notification saying “missing data from sensors” popped up.

It’s possible that Google is still working on perfecting the feature. There has to be some caveat or condition as to how this will eventually work. Otherwise it would be very annoying if the Assistant auto-activated every time the phone is lifted.

For now, it’s unclear if Google is any closer to making “Lift to talk” live on the Pixel 4. It’s also not clear if the feature will require the new Soli radar chip, in which case, it will be limited to the Pixel 4 phones.

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