When the Google Home launched, users could call Google Assistant on the smart speaker with "Hey Google," but on Android phones, users were stuck with just "OK Google."
Now the hotword is expanding to Assistant on Android, meaning that the virtual assistant on the platform will no longer be listening for only "OK Google" but also for "Hey Google" — if you want it to, that is.
Google Assistant Hotword Change
The update isn't exactly new. Google first started testing out "Hey Google" for Android phones back in October. It was still at an early phase at the time, so it became available only to a couple of users, but it's landing on more and more devices out there now.
Plenty of users are now saying that they received a prompt to reconfigure the voice model with the option to choose between "OK Google" and "Hey Google." In other words, you can choose one of the two. Perhaps you can even leave "Hey Google" for your Home devices and reserve "OK Google" for your Android phones so you won't trigger Assistant across platforms in one go.
In the event that you didn't get a notification to set up Assistant again, you can just head on over to Settings, Google, Search, and then Voice.
According to Android Police, the rollout is gradual, so if you can't change Assistant's hotword yet, then that just means you have to wait a bit longer for the update to arrive to your Android phone.
Regardless of the trigger word you use, Assistant should fire up even when your screen is off.
More Assistant News
Recently, older versions of Android such as Android 5.0 Lollipop and even tablets running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and Android 7.0 Nougat received support for Assistant.
This comes with great timing too. Not only are virtual assistants becoming a big deal, but they've been getting more nifty features and useful functions too.
For starters, Amazon is setting up Alexa for Business, giving the voice assistant the right stuff to be a helping hand in the office space.
In Assistant's case, Google taught it how to call up local home services, troubleshoot your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, turn into an intercom system for your home, and even phone Santa Claus, which is just in time for Christmas.
From the look of things, it's not a stretch to believe that upgrades and a ton of new things to do with virtual assistants will make their way in the foreseeable future.