What you need to know
- Google Assistant now offers a Shortcuts feature on mobile.
- This lets you assign custom commands to apps which support them.
- It's a server-side triggered upgrade and is also available on non-Pixel phones.
Google has quietly updated Assistant (via Android Police) on Android to include a new Shortcuts interface. Similarly to Siri Shortcuts on iOS, these allow a user to assign custom commands to apps and actions which interface with Google Assistant.
You'll be able to find the new Shortcuts tab under the Services tab (or by scrolling down to the Shortcuts if you have the new alphabetically scrollable Assistant settings interface.
Once in the tab, you'll now see a list of apps that offer shortcuts and what those shortcuts are. Google will also show you recommended shortcuts based on apps you use often. When you tap on an app, you'll also be able to select and add those shortcuts to your Assistant. As of now, it's supported by many mainstream apps including Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat, etc. Not all of those commands are useful. WhatsApp's optional shortcuts aren't particularly mainstream, while Snapchat only offers one option. It's a start, however.
The goal of Assistant is to speed up tasks on your phone by using your voice and natural language. Shortcuts accelerates this by letting you pick trigger phrases that are easier or faster to say for actions of your choosing.If you use Google Assistant a lot verbally, there's no doubt that shortcuts, set up correctly, could help speed up your workflow.
For non-regular users, would these Shortcuts encourage you to use Assistant more? Let us know in the comments below.