Google Assistant on Pixel 3aSource: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

What you need to know

  • It's now easier to send audio messages on Android phones with Google Assistant.
  • Google has now added the "Hey Google, send an audio message" command to Assistant on Android.
  • You can send these audio messages on supported apps like Google Messages or WhatsApp.

Google today highlighted a few capabilities for the Google Assistant service on Android, some of which are new-ish, one of which is completely new.

The new feature is faster, kind of more natural access to audio messages. Instead of opening a messaging app and holding down the microphone icon, you can simply ask Google Assistant to compose and send an audio message with just your voice.

"You can now send audio messages with Google Assistant on Android smartphones — without holding down the little mic icon," Google announced, "To get started, just say, "Hey Google, send an audio message" or "Hey Google, send an audio message to Paul saying I'm on the way." The feature is available in English-speaking countries around the globe, as well as in Portuguese in Brazil."

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In my testing, the feature worked for both SMS and WhatsApp, though not as reliably as I'd have liked.

Google also highlighted additional features that had already come to Google Assistant. Earlier this year, Google had introduced a read-aloud feature to Assistant where it could read out a web page. Google had also begun to let users filter for restaurants that offered takeout as the pandemic begun.

As we also know, the Assistant can also take selfies, text friends, or share content. These aren't new features, but Google's probably highlighting them to remind users that they are there.

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