The smartphone competition continues to heat up, and the future and survival of a brand may well depend on what it is capable of doing beyond its mechanical constraints. Google’s Assistant has a number of interesting features that you don’t know about but can make the difference in your final decision for your next smartphone.
1. Help you with your jogging.
Here we are talking about jogging your memory, which is probably more important than your morning ritual. It’s the little things that often get us, such as where you left your keys or where you put that roll of quarters for laundry. Using Google Assistant you can say to it something like, “remind me [then what you want it to remember]” and voila! All you need to do is ask it anytime later and it will tell you what it is. Use this judiciously since if you tell it multiple locations for the same item you might find yourself scampering around for a while.
2. Make it your own personal news broadcast.
Customize your news sources and when you want The Assistant to read you the latest news, sports, and weather, you can dial it up and listen hands and eyes free. Just tap the home button and when you see the pop-up box with the question, “How may I help you?” respond, “Good morning.” The Assistant can differentiate the time of day, so depending when you ask it you can get the most recent news.
3. Flirt with Leslie
If you don’t know who Leslie is, it is The Assistant’s AI loan expert. The command is “Okay Google, talk to Loan Finder.” Then ask what you want to know and you can hear the answers. There is also a list of the most often asked questions to save you time. Leslie is also capable of redirecting you to a list of loan offers best suited to you. If you have an existing loan Leslie can tell you the amount you’ll be paying over the term of the loan.
4. Help you translate English
To take advantage of this feature you need to set Google Assistant to unlock your phone. Then you can ask it something like, “How do you say [word/phrase] in [language]?” The Assistant has the ability to help you translate more than 180 languages, then speak the word/phrase correctly. If you didn’t understand it the first time around you can ask it to repeat itself.
5. Use it to screen your phone calls.
This is one of its best features because you can silence those pesky telemarketer calls or the ones from people you prefer not to talk to at the moment. In order to do this you will need a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL or later. Look for the Call Screen feature and you can set the phone to answer the phone for you. The best thing is you don’t have to go to voicemail or scroll through a list, as the phone will display a transcript, letting you ignore whoever or whatever.
6. Connect with other Google apps and services.
Some say this is Google Assistant’s most powerful feature – and for good reason. Being able to get the data from all your Google apps such as Gmail and Calendar can save you mountains of time. Use its voice capability to backtrack to a previous day by asking it “Did I miss any emails?” The result will be a list of unopened emails.
7. It will help you dance or dine.
One of the more familiar situations people find themselves in is when going out they have already been to their favorite places and are looking to be more adventurous. Use the Nearby option by saying something along the lines of “where are the nearest Chinese restaurants” and you will get a list. Drop the word “Chinese” from the request and your options will expand. The choices often have star ratings to minimize the possibility of a bad first time experience.
8. To be or not to be quotable.
This is not for everyone, but you can access a motivational quote based on the topic of your choice. You can them pass it along to someone else for ulterior motives or simply to convey a positive attitude. One recommendation is that you use one three times a day before every meal to aid digestion.
9. Be a walking Funk and Wagnalls.
For those born after 1992, Funk and Wagnalls was a 25 volume set of encyclopedias made of paper and ink people used as a basic source of information. Google Assistant can make your knowledge base encyclopedic by simply asking it a question. If math isn’t your strong suit, it can give you answers to math questions, including converting currencies and weights and measures.
10. Use it to navigate unfamiliar territories.
This feature, Google Lens, can identify your surroundings when you are in an unfamiliar location. All you need to do is point your camera at a nearby object and it will instantly recognize where you are at – and tell you. But there’s more. Let’s say you are in a downtown area and see a movie on a marquee. Google Lens will tell you things like show times and offer ratings.