What you need to know

  • "Raise to talk" is being worked on as a new way to activate Google Assistant.
  • It would work with Continued Conversation on the next-gen version of Assistant.
  • The new feature may make its debut with the Pixel 4 smartphones.

The Pixel 4 is set to launch next week, and thanks to all the leaks, there isn't much left we don't already know about Google's latest smartphone. However, it appears not every detail is widely known, and after digging into some code, XDA-Developers has confirmed the new "raise to talk" feature Google is working on for Assistant.

"Raise to talk" was first spotted by 9to5Google and will allow you to activate Assistant by simply lifting up your phone. That would be yet another way to invoke the next-gen Assistant beyond the traditional hot words, swiping up from the corners, or squeezing the frame on the Pixel 4.

This new way to summon Assistant is also expected to work with Continued Conversation. In fact, when examining the code, XDA-Developers noticed that the strings specifically referenced using "lifting your phone" in order to "ask follow-up questions."

"Raise to talk" could add a new convenient way to activate Assistant, but it also raises some privacy concerns about your phone accidentally listening in on you. However, 9to5Google notes that:

After lifting your phone up, asking a question or issuing a command will invoke Assistant. Your speech has to come immediately after the raise or Google will ignore it. The company is privacy-conscious about this feature and will note that voice recognition happens on-device.

At this time, "raise to talk" appears to be a work in progress and XDA-Developers noticed that the "lifting your phone" strings have been removed in future versions of the Google app. We could see it return in time for the Pixel 4 launch next week, or it's possible the feature could be delayed and released at a later date. I guess we'll just have to be patient and wait for the October 15 Made by Google event to find out.

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