Google Assistant isn’t just for Android devices. Here’s how to set up and use Google’s voice assistant on any mobile device, including iPhone and iPad. Google Assistant is built into Android as the default virtual assistant for asking questions, getting information, and performing tasks. However, it can also serve the same role on your iPhone or iPad. You can ask Google Assistant to answer a range of questions and perform a variety of tasks. Tell it to make a phone call, send a text message, or kick off an email. Ask it to create a reminder, a calendar appointment, or a shopping list. Request directions and information on nearby restaurants and other spots, and a lot more. Here’s how Google Assistant works and what it offers for Android, iPhone, and iPad users alike. Set up Google Assistant Android devices should come with Google Assistant preinstalled, but you can also download the app from Google Play. It requires Android 5.0 or higher and the Google app version 6.13. To configure Google Assistant on Android, go to Settings > Google > Account Services > Search, Assistant & Voice > Google Assistant. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can grab the app from the Apple Store. You will need to be running iOS 11 or higher on your device. On iOS/iPadOS, open the Google Assistant app and tap your profile icon in the upper right, where you can review the array of settings and options. You can leave most of the settings at their default values, but there are some you should tweak or at least review.
• Voice Match lets you train or retrain your voice so that Assistant can better recognize it.
• Assistant Voice allows you to choose the type of voice the Assistant will use.
• Routines gives you the ability to create and combine several tasks and accomplish them with one simple command. By default, Google Assistant uses any personalized information already accessible with your Google account, such as addresses, contacts, calendar appointments, and reminders. However, you can review these settings to make sure the details are correct.
Activate Google Assistant
To trigger Google Assistant on an Android device, press down on the Home button at the bottom centre of the screen or say “OK, Google” or “Hey, Google.” You can then ask a question or issue a command. To convey your request by text, tap the keyboard and type your question or command. iPhone or iPad users will have to open the Google Assistant app in order to trigger the program. At the home screen, you can then tap the keyboard icon to type your request or tap the microphone icon to speak it.
Make a phone call
You can call someone through the app by telling Google Assistant to call a specific contact in your phone. The first time you do this you must grant access to your contacts. If your contact has more than one number, you will be asked to choose one. The Assistant then displays the phone number. Tap Call to dial the number. If you’d rather start a video call, tell the app to place a call through your preferred service, such as Zoom or Google Meet. iPhone and iPad users can also place a FaceTime call to any contact with an Apple device.
Send a text
You can tell the Assistant to text someone in your contact list and dictate the text through the Assistant. When you’re done, the app asks if you want to send the message or change it. The Assistant then opens up your default messaging app for you to send the text.
Create an email
To email someone, tell Google Assistant to “Send an email to [name of contact].” Dictate your email, and the app will ask if you want to send it or edit it. Say “Send it,” and your message is on its way courtesy of Gmail.
Set a reminder
You can set a reminder with Google Assistant by saying something like “Remind me to call my dentist at 3 p.m.” If you neglect to specify a time, the Assistant asks you to indicate the time. The app shows you the reminder and asks if you want to save it. Say “Yes,” and the reminder will appear on your phone at the scheduled time. If this is the first time you’re setting a reminder with Google Assistant, the app prompts you to turn on notifications in the iPhone’s settings screen. You then return to the Assistant, where you’ll have to repeat the reminder.
Set a calendar appointment
You can set a calendar appointment to add an event to your Google Calendar. Say “Add a calendar appointment with my dentist for March 10 at 2 p.m.” The app asks if you want to save it. Tell it yes, and the appointment is added to your calendar. You can also break down the request into individual parts, and the Assistant will ask you for each detail, such as the date and time.
Create a shopping list
Google Assistant can also create a shopping list for you. Say “Set up a shopping list,” and the app asks what items you want added. Dictate your items and the app creates your list. Tap on the View List button to see the individual items. You can also add to the list by saying “Add [name of item] to my shopping list.” You can then check the list when you’re in the supermarket.
You can tap into Google Maps through the Assistant. Say something like “Show me directions to …” The Assistant tells you the best way to reach your destination and how long it may take to get there. It also displays a map of the travel route. Tap the Start button to open turn-by-turn directions in Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze. Are you hungry? Ask Google Assistant to find a local restaurant by saying “Show me nearby restaurants.” The app serves up the names of local spots to grab a bite. Tap on any restaurant to get more information about it. You can also narrow your search by saying something like “Show me Mexican restaurants within 20 miles,” and the app presents the results. You can look for other nearby spots as well. Say “Show me gas stations within five miles” or “Show me the closest supermarkets,” and the app displays the results.
What else can Google Assistant do?
You can also ask Google Assistant to get the latest news, weather reports, sports scores, stock prices, and other regular updates. Ask it to play music by a certain artist, and it will have you pick a music app to use, then launch the app to play some tunes. You can also play a game with Google Assistant, or even ask it to Google stuff. To see more of the Assistant’s abilities, tap the Explore icon in the lower-right corner. At the Explore section, you can browse some of the app’s many skills. You can also tap the “Your Stuff” link to see all your reminders, appointments, shopping lists, and other items the app has created for you.
How to set up and use Google Pay
Google’s mobile payment service works on the web and with both Android and iOS devices. Here’s how to set up the service and pay for things from the app. Google Pay is a mobile payment app that allows you to pay for items online or through contactless payment. You can also exchange money with other people, track personal spending, add virtual credit cards, and manage your money. While Google designed the app to be the default payment system on Android phones, iPhone owners can make use of the service as well, albeit without the tap-to-pay functionality they get from Apple Pay. Let’s look at how to use Google Pay with an Android phone and an iPhone.
Set up Google Pay from the web
In order to set up Google Pay, you must sign into your Google Account on the mobile app or website. If you have financial information saved with Chrome’s AutoFill feature, those credit and debit cards will automatically transfer to Google Pay. If you do not have any saved information, you will have to enter it manually during the setup process. On the website, click the Add button to enter a payment method. Enter your credit or debit card information, your name, and your billing address. Click Save, then select Done. If financial information has been transferred over, you must first enter the security code on the back of the card before it will be activated for contactless payment. The service then displays your entered payment method. You can remove or edit the existing method at any time, or add new payment methods. Select the Add payment method link to enter additional methods. You can now add another credit or debit card, a Google Store financing card, a PayPal account, or a bank account. Choose one of these additional methods if you wish and then follow the steps to link it to Google Pay.
Set Up Google Pay from the Android App
Google Pay already comes with most Android devices, so you shouldn’t have to manually download and install it. However, Google Pay is also in the middle of transitioning to a new app, so right now there is an old version that is currently stable and a new version that is still in early access. As the old version starts to cut off support for certain features, make sure you download the newest iterations, or even both versions. If you’re still using the old version of Google Pay, open the app and tap the Get Started button. The next screen gives you a choice of getting the new Google Pay app or setting up the existing one. If you would rather stick with the stable version, tap the Set it Up button. If you already added a credit or debit card via the Google Pay website, or have information stored in Chrome, the app shows your current payment methods. If not, you’re prompted to add a card. You can then add additional cards by tapping the Add a new card entry. You can then either take a picture of the card or add it manually. If you want the new Google Pay app, either download it from Google Play or click Get the new Google Pay on the home screen of the old app. Once inside the app, make sure you are signed in with your Google Account. You will then be asked to link the app with your phone number through a texted code. At the privacy preferences screen, tap Next. Choose whether you want to be discoverable by friends so they can send payments to you. Decide if you want to earn cashback rewards and discounts when you pay for something through Google Pay. Finally, determine if you want to turn on personalization for Google Pay, which saves your transactions and other information in your Google account. You can turn this option on or off or turn it on and have Google ask you about it in another three months. After the initial setup, you are brought to the app’s Pay screen, where you can read about different options and manage your account.
Set up Google Pay on iPhone
If you’re using an iPhone, download the new Google Pay app from the App Store. From the app’s start screen, sign in with your Google Account, if necessary, or confirm the account listed. Tap Continue and enter your phone number, then confirm the code texted to you. You are then asked to set up your privacy preferences. Choose if you want friends to find you when they search for your number. Decide if you want to earn cashbacks and discounts. Determine if you want to turn on personalization for Google Pay. At the end, the app asks if you want to use Face ID or Touch ID to authenticate your Google Pay payments. You’re then brought to the Pay screen, where you can read about different app options and manage your account.
• Source: www.pcmag.com