'Hey Google – change your wake word to something less corporate'

Nuggets from the new Google APK revealed

Google Assistant will learn any wake word

If you cringed at shouting “OK Google” in your living room, your luck could be about to change. A deep dive into the new Google app APK has revealed that the company might be about to allow you to change the wake word for its Google Assistant, making the whole thing feel a lot less corporate.

9to5Google completed a full teardown of the new Google app 7.20 APK (rather them than us) and found a new option called “teach your Assistant to recognize”. This is how you'll instruct Assistant to respond to a new word, and the code also indicated that Assistant will give you some wake word suggestions first.

Of course, you'll still be able to use “OK Google” or “Hey Google” – the latter was only added back in December. There’s no suggestion of Google Assistant getting a cuddly sounding alter-ego, but Pocket-lint also found that you could wake Assistant with “hey Boo Boo”, which is both bonkers and delightful.

The deep dive also revealed that more language options are coming to Google Assistant, which would give it a shot in the arm in its battle with Amazon Alexa. You’ll now be able to have multiple languages selected, which means Assistant will work in bilingual workplaces and households. There’s a video of it in action below.

The final little nugget is that Google Duo is coming to Assistant for devices with Smart Displays. If you were paying attention at CES 2018, you’ll know that this refers to Google Assistant powered smart speakers with screens. As everyone knows, Google Duo is the company’s video calling service, and will now work hand-in-hand with screen-toting smart speakers.

While these options might not make the cut, it would go a long way to making Google Assistant feel a little more personal. At the minute Alexa is winning that battle, and also offers wake word changes such as “computer” and “Echo”.

But Google Assistant is catching up fast, and if the company’s focus on its assistant at CES means updates like this are going to land thick and fast.


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