Google Assistant could soon be summoned using the power button on Android smartphones, according to a report. The virtual assistant can currently be triggered using wake words like “Ok Google” and “Hey Google”, or swipe gestures on smartphones. Some phones also feature a dedicated button for Google Assistant. But Google could soon add a power button trigger for Google Assistant with the launch of Android 12, making dedicated buttons redundant. Although, some Chinese brands already offer this functionality with their custom Android skins. The mention of the new feature was found in the codes of the Google App latest release.
The upcoming feature for Google Assistant was first spotted by XDA-Developers. The publication conducted a teardown of the latest Google App release (188.8.131.52) that revealed a string of codes that suggest Google may add the power button trigger for the virtual assistant in Android 12. According to the report, Google Assistant could be summoned by long-pressing the power button.
This feature could in enabled in settings. XDA-Developers’ Mishaal Rahman was able to spot the new setting on a Pixel 3 XL smartphone running on a developer build of Android 12. But the option could not be enabled.
Currently, Google Assistant can be summoned by using either of the two commands — “Ok Google” or “Hey Google.” Users can also long-press the home button or swipe up from the bottom of the screen on their Android smartphones if they use the full-screen gestures. Alternatively, some Google Pixel devices can be squeezed on the sides to activate the virtual assistant. Companies like Nokia and LG have a dedicated button for Google Assistant as well.
Google is also reportedly working on bringing a double-tap back gesture to summon the virtual assistant. But that might not come with the launch of Android 12.
Additionally, XDA-Developers were also able to discover some upcoming features in the teardown of the Google app. Android 12 will make it easier for users to authorise payments while the phone is connected to Android Auto or is unlocked. The feature will let users bypass security or skip entering the password altogether. Even though the feature is yet to be released, it is still recommended to only activate the feature if your phone is not left unattended by you for long periods of time. Anyone who has access to your phone while it is connected to Android Auto or is unlocked may be able make payments.