Google Assistant hotword sensitivity settings are coming to devices soon

Google Home, Mini, and Max
Google Home, Mini, and Max (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • An APK teardown of the Google app beta version 10.93 has revealed sensitivity settings for the Assistant hotword.
  • The feature is not currently active, but the code shows that it will allow you to lower or increase the sensitivity for "Hey Google" on your devices.
  • Unfortunately, it appears the new sensitivity feature won't be available on all devices or in all languages when it launches.

Earlier this month, Google announced of some new features coming to Assistant-enabled devices this year. Some of the more exciting were sticky notes for smart displays, Scheduled Actions, and improved privacy controls.

Now, we're getting a glimpse at one of the features I'm most excited for, the ability to adjust the sensitivity of the Assistant hotwords. The upcoming feature was recently spotted by the guys over at 9to5Google during an APK teardown of the most recent version of the Google app beta.

While dissecting version 10.93 of the beta Google app, they discovered some strings referencing the new feature. The strings include settings that will allow you to "raise or lower this device's sensitivity to make it more or less responsive" to the hotword "Hey Google."

It also detailed three different settings to choose from, beginning with the current level as the default with options to change it to "Least sensitive" or "Most sensitive."

A Google Home Nest Mini Speaker on a blue backdrop

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Furthermore, additional strings revealed that it would allow you to make changes to each individual device. That makes it perfect for customizing each smart speaker in your home to your needs, whether you have one in the living room that needs to be more sensitive to hear you over the TV or one in the bedroom where the least sensitive option will be ideal because of less background noise.

As great as this new setting will be to have, there will be some restrictions. For starters, only the primary account holder will be able to adjust the sensitivity. There are also references in the strings showing that this feature will not be available in all languages or on all devices. That could change in the future, but initially, it appears you won't be able to change the sensitivity for all devices or languages.

For now, we still don't know when the sensitivity feature will launch or if it will change between now and then. Such is the nature of APK teardowns, because we are getting an early first look at something that is still a work in progress. However, seeing how it is showing up in the latest beta version of the Google app, hopefully, we won't be left waiting long for it to officially roll out.

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Jason England