Last month, we detailed Google’s work on a feature that lets you skip Assistant’s hotword for select commands. On phones, Assistant “Quick phrases” work differently and in a somewhat more limited manner.

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

“Quick phrases” can be set-up from Google Assistant settings where it will have a speech bubble icon that features an arrow. The description is unchanged, but Google now explains how “Assistant will wait in standby mode to detect these voice commands.”

Skip saying “Hey Google” for help with specific tasks 

We previously showed the “Other devices” menu for controlling “Quick phrases” on Smart Displays and speakers. The ability to skip “Hey Google” will also be available on mobile devices, but in a more limited capacity. From what we enabled today, the Quick phrases feature for Android phones and tablets is initially limited to two actions. 

When “Alarms and timers” trigger, you can say “stop” or “snooze.” Similarly, “Answer” or “Decline” works for incoming calls. When enabling detection for the latter capability, Google warns that “calls might sometimes connect unintentionally.” 

Assistant does not appear to be using Voice Match to make sure you’re the one speaking. As such, anybody around your device can trigger, while there’s also a chance that other sounds might be mistaken for “answer.”

To remind users about Quick phrases, as spotted by XDA, notifications from Google Clock and Phone are accompanied by visual indicators of what commands are available.

We enabled the settings page seen above, but do not believe Quick phrases is rolling out yet. Namely, the “Learn more” link takes you to an internal Google page — go/assistant-guacamole — for employees dogfooding the capability. When the Assistant feature is ready for consumers, the help page will be updated accordingly.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article

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Assistant ‘Quick phrases’ on phones lets you stop alarms, answer calls without ‘Hey Google’
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