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“OK, Google!” – 10 Things you Can Do with your Google Assistant

Google Assistant

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“OK, Google!” – 10 Things you Can Do with your Google Assistant

If you think you need a personal assistant and for some reason can’t get a human one right now, there’s a lot of machine options available from Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri down to the Google Assistant.

For Android users who are yet to fully discover the full functionality of their devices, here are some tasks that your Google Assistant can assist with.

FIND ANSWERS

This seems pretty basic considering the fact that Google is the most powerful search engine right now. So its pretty much expected that getting answers to questions should be a breeze with Google’s Assistant. You may find yourself using this feature a lot and even asking strange questions just to see how far she can go. The great thing is that the results are also read out.

PLAY MUSIC

You can find and play music with your Google Assistant. If you make use of Google Play Music, this is going to be a breeze as it is well integrated but if you use apps like Deezer or Spotify, app support is pretty limited. You’ll have to just scroll and tap to get things done as song searches are executed with either Google Play Music or Youtube.

SET REMINDERS AND ALARMS

If you use your phone for your morning alarm clock, setting alarms with Google Assistant will quickly become the feature you use most frequently. You can set a daily alarm for yourself  by just saying, “Wake me up every day at 7 a.m” or schedule yourself a quick nap (“Set an alarm for 2 hours from now”). You can be fairly conversational when setting alarms with Google Assistant, but you’ll always want to specify morning or evening if you don’t want to accidentally set that important morning alarm for p.m. instead of a.m.

ASK OFFLINE AND GET ONLINE

When you lose your internet connection, Google’s voice commands suddenly become useless. Assistant, on the other hand, will be able to save your commands and send them when you get your connection back.

This works best in Allo where you can type your commands, since most voice transcription doesn’t work without an internet connection. Simply type your command and the next time you have a connection, you’ll get your answer. If you leave the app, Allo will even push a notification to let you know that it reconnected and it found your answer.

GET WEATHER INFORMATION

Once you have your location turned on, you’ll get daily weather forecasts from your Google Assistant. You’re going to be able to get the current local forecasts (powered by Weather.com) by simply asking “What’s the weather like”, or find out long-term weather forecasts by asking “What’s the weather like this weekend?” If you’re travelling, Google Assistant can deliver your destination’s weather forecast with just a small tweak to the core weather command (“What’s the weather like in Abuja this weekend?”). Google Assistant will read out the weather forecast, along with providing the information on-screen.

NEWS

It’s one thing for Google Assistant to deliver your favorite news, but how about getting the assistant to read the news to you each morning? You only have to tap the software home button; when the pop-up box comes up with the Google Assistant question, “How May I help you?” say, “Good morning.” Google Assistant will say, “Good morning, Joy”, and give you the weather in your city as well as read the latest news from your customized news sources. You can also say, “Good Afternoon” or “Good Evening,” and get your news read, since Google Assistant is aware of each time of day.

SPORTS RESULT

For some reason this is where I make the most use of my Google Assistant. I enjoy football but I’m not a staunch football fan so you’re not going to find me checking out the table for the positions of my team – Manchester United. Since I started using the Assistant, I like that I have access to all this information without having to make a deliberate search.

TRANSLATIONS

Just like Google Now, you can use Google Assistant to find translations for words or phrases from English into any of the languages Google Translate supports. To get a live translation using Google Assistant, simply call up the assistant and be as formal or informal as you please. For example, you could say “translate what is the time in french”, or “how do you say what is the time in french?”, and Google Assistant will reply with the written translation of the phrase or words, along with an audio translation.

CONTROL YOUR DEVICE

For those who have a cracked screen that is yet to be fixed, you’ll love this feature. Whether you want check your notifications, open apps or give some commands, the Assistant is a great option. This came in handy when I had a cracked my phone screen.

MAKE CALLS, SEND EMAILS AND MESSAGE

By simply saying “Call Joey” once the Assistant is activated, you have your phone dialing Joey. Its really easy and convenient as all you have to do is just say the command. The same also applies for messages and I love dictating my messages. The challenge however is getting your Assistant to understand various Nigerian names and our accents.

Google Assistant is a great tool to get simple tasks done and it gives you a glimpse into what is possible in a world full of AI machines. There’s still a lot for it to learn like being able to pick up accents because you may find yourself giving one command ten times before it understands what it is that you’re actually saying.

Before you can access Google Assistant, your device has to run Android Marshmallow or above.

What do you do most with your Google Assistant? Let us know in the comments

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A sports and nature lover, art enthusiast and rookie globe trotter. I'm also in love with Africa, tech and politics.

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