Microsoft has Cortana, Amazon has Alexa, Apple has Siri, and Google has, well, Google.
Rather than come up with a human name for its assistant, Google chose the logical name of "Google Assistant" for its AI assistant. You address Google Assistant by saying "Hey Google" rather than the more personal "Alexa" or "Hey Siri" approach.
Others might say the product name lacks imagination, but the Google Assistant service itself certainly isn't lacking in features. The Google Assistant is a pure software tool that offers many features, such as the ability to launch programs on your computer or smartphone, launch TV shows or music playlists, even dim the lights of your home or turn various appliances on and off. .
You can use your voice to communicate with friends and family, give you directions, plan your next trip, set alarms and reminders, translate languages and much more. The possibilities and features are endless!
If you want to see a complete list of all OK Google commands, check out this TechJunkie article: A Nearly Complete List of All Correct Google Commands?
Despite the many things Google Assistant can do, it can't make major changes to its voice activation command. Google will let you set it to "OK Google" or, on some later devices, "Hey Google".
For some reason – probably a branding decision made by marketing – the company wants you to have to say their name before the assistant does anything for you. Having your business name repeated several times a day is clear branding, but not necessarily fun for Google Assistant users.
Fortunately, the very nature of Google's software architecture is that it's hackable and moddable, and so what Google didn't add as functionality, third parties eagerly seized the opportunity to add functionality. to Google Assistant.
Using additional software, you can change the Google Assistant voice activation phrase to whatever you want. In this article, we are going to show you the different methods to do so and walk you through each of them.
By the time we're done, Google Assistant will be dancing to your beat rather than the default.
There are two main methods to change the “wake word” or Google Assistant name.
The first method is to use Mic+, an application that works quite well but is no longer developed at the time of this writing.
The second method we are discussing is changing the name of your Google Assistant using the Autovoice app. This second approach (described later in this article) is probably better than the first approach, but we'll provide instructions on how to use both.
Can you name the Google Assistant?
Yes, and the first thing you need to do to enable these methods is to make sure that you have the latest version of the Google app installed on your smartphone.
Once you've installed the latest version of Google, you can proceed. Again, we'll start by showing you how to change the "wake word" for Google Assistant with Mic+, then we'll show you how to do the same with Autovoice (probably the best approach). Let's start!
How do I rename my Google Assistant using the Open Mic+ app?
Open Mic+ is an app that complements the Google Assistant, adding a variety of features such as offline voice recognition and integration with Sacs, an extremely powerful Android automation system.
We at TechJunkie have written an informative article covering 5 of the best Tasker profiles for Android Automation.
For our purposes today, however, we're more interested in the functionality of Open Mic+ that lets you override the voice command used to activate the Google Assistant.
For Open Mic+ to work, you must disable keyword detection in Google Now. It's easy to do, although Google has done its best to hide required functionality deep within its forbidden and near-random UI hierarchy.
First, you will need to disable your google assistant. To do so, follow these steps:
- Activate your Google Assistant by saying "OK Google" or by long pressing the Home button.
- press the Compass at the bottom right of the application to access the exploration menu.
- Tap your profile button on the top right of the app, some users may need to select Settings depending on your model.
- Scroll down to the Assistant Devices section at the bottom and tap on your smartphone or other devices you want to set up.
- Disable the "Access with Voice Match" setting.
Next, launch the Open Mic+ app. Open Mic+ is no longer available on the Google Play Store, but Open Mic+ for Google Now is still available on Amazon.
Make sure you have installed the Amazon Store app before you can download the Open Mic+ app.
Open the Open Mic+ app and you will see the splash screen. Tap the preferences sliders to open the settings dialog.
Once in the preferences screen, tap on "Hot Phrase", then type the phrase you want to use in the future.
You might want to resist the temptation to be too cute with this; doing something like "Hey baby, did I turn you on?" is funny when you're home alone, but maybe less so when your boss asks you to look up something on your phone at work. Also, a sentence that is too long can be fun at first, but it will get old quickly. Keep it short and sweet, something you can live with even when you're stressed and rushed.
For our demo, we'll go with Captain Picard and change the wake-up phrase to "Computer."
When you are done typing the new phrase, just press the "OK" button. Tap the back button in the upper left corner to exit preferences.
You should now see a large green button labeled "Start." Tap it and let it run, and you can say your chosen hot word instead of "OK Google" and your Google Assistant will be there, ready to take your voice command.
How do I change the Google Assistant wake word using Tasker and AutoVoice?
Open Mic+ works… most of the time. Unfortunately, the app is not currently in active development and may not install or run properly on your phone.
A more reliable method of changing your Assistant keyword is to download and install the ever-popular Bags Application. Tasker is not free; it's $2,99, but honestly, that's the best $2,99 you'll spend if you use your phone a lot.
Tasker handles all kinds of tasks. It automates everything from settings to photos. It lets you customize over 350 actions, and when loaded with the right plugins, it can let you change the Google Assistant keyword.
Once you've downloaded Tasker, you'll also need to install the AutoVoice app from the same developer. This download is free but AutoVoice is ad-supported.
Step 1: AutoVoice
First, you need to go to your "Settings" and then choose "Accessibility". In the list of options, find "AutoVoice Google Now Integration" and "Tasker" and toggle the switches next to these entries to enable the feature.
Step 2: AutoVoice
You need to link your AutoVoice app to your Google account. Fortunately, Google Assistant can do this for you.
- Activate the Google Assistant.
- Say "Talk to AutoVoice".
- The wizard will tell you that your account is not linked and ask for permission to link accounts. Press "Yes".
- If you have more than one Google account, a selection dialog will appear asking which account to associate; choose the account you use on this phone.
- The Google Assistant will finish linking AutoVoice to your account.
Step 3: AutoVoice
Open the Tasker app, tap the plus sign, then add "Event". From the list of options, select "Plugin", then choose "AutoVoice" and "Recognized". Click the edit button next to "Configuration", then press "The Hard Way".
Tap "Speak filter". You will be prompted for your new command phrase. Tasker may ask you to clarify what you said by presenting a list of its best guesses; select the one you actually said.
Press the back button on your phone. At the top of your screen, you will say the text "AutoVoice Recognized", a circle with an "i", a checkmark and an "X". Tap the checkmark.
Now tap the back arrow in the upper left corner of the screen, next to the text "Edit event".
A pop-up window will appear containing “New Task+”. Tap the “New Task +” line in the pop-up window.
A dialog box will appear allowing you to name the task; you can skip this if you want.
You really only need to name tasks if there are a lot of tasks in a workflow and you might get them mixed up. Enter a name (or not) and tap the check mark to the right of the name field.
The task editing screen now appears. This is where you assign a command to run when the command phrase is heard by Tasker.
Press the + button in the circle on the right of the screen and a menu of all possible actions will appear.
Tap the box labeled "Enter" and then the box labeled "Voice Command". Press the back button to the left of the "Edit Action" label. You should now see the Edit Task screen with your new task displayed.
Press the "Play" button to perform your task, and you should now have a voice command that opens the Google Assistant.
Note: hats off to TechJunkie reader Brandon Bjorke who helpfully pointed out that we missed an entire section of the walkthrough - and apologies to anyone who tried to get this to work with only about a third instructions in place!