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Google Assistant will take a screenshot for you if you ask. You can also type the same command.
Taking a screenshot on an Android smartphone can be achieved a number of different ways, but nearly all of them require a number of taps or button presses. The default method of pressing the volume down button and the power button at the same time can be hit-and-miss. However, with Google Assistant, this task can be performed simply by using your voice. Either say or type out
- Hey Google, Take a screenshot
and the Share panel will pop up, allowing you to capture whatever is on display.
The image that’s directly behind the Google Assistant screen is the one that will be used for the screenshot, and after it appears, Google Assistant brings up the share menu automatically so you can quickly share the image with family and friends. This also works when the Assistant panel is taking up the entire screen, and even after you’ve asked several questions before issuing the command. “Take a screenshot” will always capture what’s “behind” the Assistant panel. The feature replaces the quick on-screen shortcut that was added to Assistant at the very start of the year. If voice commands aren’t your thing, the Assistant will let you type the command instead.
Screenshots created with the help of Google Assistant get rid of the bottom navigation buttons, along with any notification logos that you might have active on top of the display. For people who want to take screenshots quickly, with no button pushing required, this will certainly be the easiest way to achieve it.
Let Google Assistant wait on hold for you
Hold for Me allows you to go about your day when you’re on hold. When you activate Hold for Me, you can put your phone down; it will notify you via sound, vibration, and a notification when someone is on the line. Everyone’s been stuck on hold for an hour or more at times, and Hold for Me makes this experience bearable. Use Hold for Me to spend less time on the phone.
Availability: Google Pixel 3 phones or later in the US, Australia, and Canada, will expand it to new regions at a later time.
Google Assistant with touch support and richer visuals
On smartphones, users are doing more than just talking to their digital assistants. About half of interactions with Assistant’s smartphone app still involve touching the screen, with more visuals, Google Assistant is more consistent across all devices and situations. Google Assistant helps to get things done regardless of whether you prefer to use your hands, your voice, or a combination of the two. It emphasizes visual response cards that you can interact with, and that stay on the screen even as you ask follow-up questions. So in most cases you’ll only see the most recent topic of conversation. The overall experience is less like texting and more like, well, using an app.
Google wanted to build a framework that can actually expand and be more fluidly adaptive to the various contexts you’re in. So, instead of back, forth, back, forth, It’s an immersive experience inside the canvas itself.
Just ask your Google Assistant for something on your phone, and then you can interact with images, sliders and buttons to get the help you need in a fraction of the time.
- Bigger visuals that are easy to glance at quickly.
- An interactive messaging interface so you can use your fingers to add a comma, change a word or make any other quick edits as you compose messages.
- On Android phones, it’s now easier to access an overview of your day. Open up the Assistant and swipe up on your screen to get curated information based on the time of day and your recent interactions with the Assistant.
- Brands now have tools to take full advantage of the phone screen. Starbucks now has thumbnails to select from recommended items on their menus, Food Network has larger images of their recipes, and FitStar uses GIFs to give you a preview of your workout.
- Smart Display styled visual controls and sliders to manage your smart home devices. Use the dials to adjust your lights to the right brightness, or the sliders to control the volume of your smart speaker or temperature of your thermostat.
Apart from the slider, you can also tap the plus and minus buttons to increase or decrease the value as well. There’s even a “turn off” button for your lights, so you don’t have to slide them all the way down. The devices being modified are also labeled, so you know what exactly you’re modifying and where.
Having a visual representation of the setting you just changed in your smart home means that you can make minor adjustments yourself as well. As needing to ask out loud every time can be cumbersome, and a quick tap of the – or + button can speed up the process immensely. As sometimes a good visual representation of an action is better than an Assistant simply speaking back to you.
Over 100 million smartphones to launch with a Google Assistant button in 2019
Traditionally, the Google Assistant always lived under the home button on Android phones, but last year Google worked with LG to launch a dedicated button for Google Assistant on on G7 and V40 devices to help people get things done on the go—whether it’s staying on top of your day or finding directions with voice. As it turns out, sometime you don’t want to blurt out “Hey Google” in a crowd, when a simple button press will do. A dedicated Google Assistant button gives users immediate access to the most widely-used digital assistant on smartphones, Now, Google is working to bring the Assistant button to more phones from LG, Nokia, Xiaomi, TCL, and Vivo.
And almost all the phones unveiled on the MWC floor have a dedicated Google Assistant button.
We’ve already seen smartphone manufacturers add dedicated hardware buttons that launch voice assistants. This year, they’re bringing the Google Assistant button to the full portfolio of new Android devices with LG and Nokia, including the LG G8 ThinQ and LG Q60, K50, K40 and the Nokia 3.2 and 4.2. New phones from Xiaomi (including the Mi MIX 3 5G and Mi 9), TCL(read: Alcatel, Palm, and BlackBerry) and Vivo (including the V15 Pro) will also launch with the Google Assistant button later this year. As it turns out, the adoption of dedicated Google Assistant buttons can be attributed to Google’s efforts to push Google Assistant, and the button is coming to more devices.
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Find and share photos using just your voice
It’s now easier than ever to find and share your favorite holiday memories, simply by using your voice. On your Android phone, just say, “Hey Google, look up photos from this weekend,” tap your favorite pictures and then say, “Hey Google, share these photos with Lizzie.” Your Assistant helps you search through your photos, pick your favorites, and send them to your friends or family.
Easier access to the power of AI on mobile
The button on these phones does more than just summon Google Assistant with a tap. With a dedicated button, Google can also build a few new features into the Android too, making it easier to bring up some Assistant features that were traditionally always a few taps away. The button has been updated to take advantage of the latest features from the past year.
- A single press opens Google Assistant panel,
- A double tap brings up the visual snapshot providing Updates and an overview of your day. That new action replaces the quick shortcut to launch Google Lens and begin a visual search.
- A long press activates a “walkie talkie” feature. Assistant will keep listening until you stop tapping, with this mode ideal for transcribing long text messages and emails.
Having a dedicated button makes it easier to discover the Assistant, and get people to use it more often, too.
Assistant will now show a history of previous commands and questions that you’ve asked Google.
Google will give you access to your Assistant history for “when you want to see what you’ve previously asked”.
Long pressing on one will give users the ability to “Edit the query” which copies the command — even if it was given via voice — into the text field. Additionally, users can delete a group, which includes the command and response, from your search history.
Welcome to a new era of mobile assistance
If you haven’t used Google Assistant much on your phone, now’s a great time to pull out the device in your pocket and find out how voice and touch work together to make life a little easier. Some of the above features may roll out gradually in true Google fashion, so hold tight if you don’t see them just yet.
What do you think about Google Assistant? Do you want your next smartphone to have a button for it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.