Google Assistant may soon allow customizing Quick Expressions

Quick Phrases originally rolled out to the Nest Hub Max last week and were already available on the Pixel 6. But software sleuths at 9to5Google have uncovered evidence of the ability to set custom Quick Phrases beyond the ones that are pre-suggested. When the ability becomes available, assuming the evidence holds true, you’ll see a “Create Your Own” section materialize towards the bottom of the Quick Phrases feature page. It’s not yet, but it’s something to look forward to.

The real disappointment is that I don’t have a Nest Hub Max to take advantage of this feature, which won’t be available on other devices just yet. That means I’m going to keep barking a loud, hoarse “HEY GOOGLE” for the lights in the back room to go out (I have no idea why they keep on). Google even bookmarked this specific example for me to configure since I often ask for it.

Hmm, that's too bad for me.  (Screenshot: Florence Ion/Gizmodo)Hmm, that’s too bad for me. (Screenshot: Florence Ion/Theinquirer)

How to Use Quick Phrases with Google Assistant

Here’s how to set up Quick Phrases if you have a Nest Hub Max in your smart home, so you’re ready to set up custom ones. First, make sure you’ve updated your Google app in the Play Store. Then go to the application SettingsYou can access it by tapping on your Google profile picture, then scroll down until you see Quick sentences. It sits between Purchasing and Radio.

If you’ve accessed this feature, you’ll see a page of recommended quick phrases below the header. Google suggested I ask “what’s the weather like today” instead of the usual command I run when trying to dress my daughter in the morning. He also offered a command specific to the one I say often, which is “set the back room light to 20%.” That’s the perfect percentage for watching TV in that room after dark.

There are four categories of Quick Phrases, and they are limited to two variations each. Features you can set or access with them include alarms, general information, timers, and light control. For general information, you are limited to time and weather. For the lights, you can just turn them off and on or turn them up and down. As for alarms and timers, you can schedule and cancel them without having to ask Google to respond.

Now if only Google could make this feature compatible with third-party models of its smart speakers and displays. I currently use Lenovo’s Smart Clock in every bedroom, but it probably lacks the camera and microphone sensors needed to enable this feature. Google uses these components to know if you are nearby and if you are looking at the device.

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