Google Assistant is a smart digital-assistant that has similar features to Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana however, it is much more advanced and dynamic than any of these.  Think of it as a more ‘personalized assistant’ that helps you set reminders, ask questions with the voice-activated services and even assists you in shopping or getting directions.

When Google launched Google Assistant launched in 2016, it was just an add-on application for Google Now.  With multiple updates and AI learnings, it gradually expanded to be more dynamic and personalized.  The software learns about your habits and preferences and provides information that it considers to be useful and relevant to your choice.  The preferences could be related to News, weather reports, shopping, and other information, which, it provides through text entries and voice commands.

Google Assistant Setting

Google Assistant is already a part of the google search application and all Android-based smartphones however, setting it up correctly will get you great results that are more relevant and helpful in customization your preferences.  There are three ways of activating Google Assistant setting up on your smartphone.

  • Google Web page: You can tap on the Mic button on the google web page to bring up the Google Assistant feature. This throws up a window that gives you an option to search with voice commands.  This is an older method of accessing the Google Assistant feature since the home button on your smartphone can also bring up the same.
  • Home Button: Your android smartphone has a home button and when pressed for a couple of seconds, it will throw up the Google Assistant search and voice command bar.
  • Google Assistant Applications: These applications provide a more enhanced experience when compared to the above options.  They are more customization and provide added features such as positioning your screen buttons, adding wallpapers & quick access widgets, multiple screen gestures, etc.  In addition, since Apple uses Siri as its default digital assistant, these alternatives for Google Assistant’ application gives you all the features of the same and much more.

What does Google Assistant do for you?

In simple terms, Google Assistant makes life easier for you.  It offers voice commands, voice searching, and voice-activated control over your smartphone or any other device connected to the same.  The most intriguing features of Google Assistant is that it can recognize different users based on their voice and lets you complete a number of tasks with conversational interactions.  A smart assistant for your smartphone… isn’t it?

There are a number of tasks such as the below that you can complete with simple voice commands.

  • Control your smartphone and any other smart device compatible and configured with Google Assistant
  • Access information from your personal information, calendars, and other applications
  • Search results and information online based on your personal preferences. These include weather, news, directions on maps, etc.
  • Setup and run alarms and timers
  • Control your media content such as music and videos
  • Let’s you make appointments and send messages over voice commands
  • Open and Access other Applications on your smart devices.
  • Can be configured to read notifications and messages
  • Provide real-time translations

Devices that offer Google Assistant features

Google initially launched google assistant on their flagship models “google pixel smartphones’ and was also offered through the google search application.  After 2017, almost all Android-based devices are equipped with google assistant.   Android-based devices such as Android TV, Android Auto, Smart Speakers, etc, all have the google assistant application as a part of their in-built features and can be accessed via voice commands.

Customizing Google Assistant

The voice command for Google Assistant can be activated by pressing the home button for a couple of seconds and lets you browse and search for data without typing or keying in words in the search bar.

You can customize lots of things on Google Assistant to get a more personalized experience. For example, you can give a nickname for your Google assistant. Here are the steps to change it.

google assistant setting

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  • Google Assistant setting can be done by pressing the home button for a couple of seconds.
  • Click on the ‘compass icon’ on the google assistant window and then tap on the menu button.
  • Tap on the settings and then tap on personal info.
  • You get the Nickname button. Click on it and you get an edit option.
  • Edit your Nickname and tap OK.

Few of the other things that you can customize in Google Assistant are:

  • Switch in between Google Accounts
  • Customizes your bulletin such as news reports, music, podcasts, etc.
  • View Activity History
  • Gives you an option to change the voice of the Google Voice Assistant.
  • Customize your search and other information preferences

Alternative Mobile Applications to Google Assistant

Google Assistant is the next generation of ‘Google Now’ with extra features and a more conversational interface.  The drawback, however, lies in customizing various add-on features such as display, icons, colors, preferences, etc. Here is the list of the best smartphone applications that include Google Assistant and other add-on features.

1.  Nova Launcher

Among all the mobile applications that support and feature Google Assistant, Nova Launcher is one of the oldest and most trusted launchers.  If you are tired and bored with the old monotonous home screen, the Nova Launcher is what you should get.

Even the free version is loaded with goodies that you can try and if you want a full dive in experience, you can get the Nova Prime for $4.99

2. Action Launcher

An easy to use interface and unique app drawer loaded with a wide array of customization’s makes it a favorite among many android users. Top-rated on the google play store App, it gives you an awesome experience while navigating your phone. With its extensive customizable features, it lets you create any layout that you can imagine.  It supports multiple icons, colors, customer icon swipes, and many other useful features.

Free to use.  Has in-app purchase options.

3. Evie Launcher

One of the perfect replacements to Google Now, the Evie Launcher is super neat and very user-friendly.  It has effective gesture options and the setup ties in with Google Assistant for voice command searches.

Free to use.