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Google seems to be trying to get rid of the need to constantly say “Ok Google” in order to activate some quick actions of the voice assistant, such as answering calls or turning off the alarm on a smartphone. This will be the responsibility of a feature codenamed Guacamole in the Google app, which has been added to some users following a recent program update.
Work on Guacamole began in early March in Google app 12.8. The search giant hid this feature and did its best to hide its true purpose. Development went on for several weeks and now a new feature has appeared on the settings page by accident. Notably, this is only seen in the latest beta version of the Google 12.5 app running Android 11, not the Android 12 Developer Preview.
The new item in the assistant’s settings menu contains one option “Voice shortcuts”, which allows you to skip the “OK Google” command for quick actions. Before enabling it, the user will be prompted to read some terms and conditions, but since they are not yet available, it will not be possible to activate the function.
Google Assistant Quick Actions apply to alarms, timers, and calls. The alarm can be silenced by simply saying “stop” or “snooze”, while the “answer / reject call” command will work for incoming calls. This will all work without “Ok Google”. By the way, a similar feature was implemented on the Nest Hub and some smart displays back in 2019.
Google is currently testing this feature among its employees, which may explain its leak. Guacamole is expected to be unveiled in its final form at Google I / O next month.