Google Assistant’s settings page offers options to customize the app and its services. This page explains all those settings and how to use them. Let’s start with how to access Google Assistant Settings.
How to Open Google Assistant Settings
I have had success with the voice command “access settings”, but not always. If it works for you, that will be the easiest way to access Google Assistant settings. If the voice command is not working, here are the different ways to access settings.
Google Assistant Settings on Android
To access Google Assistant on your phone or tablet:
- Launch Google Assistant and tab the blue icon on the top.
- Tap the settings (three dots) icon on the same spot.
- Tap Settings
That should take you to Google Assistant’s Settings page.
Assistant Settings on iPhone and iPad
Accessing Assistant settings on iOS is very similar to that of Android. Here is how you can do it:
- Open Google Assistant.
- Tap the blue circle in the top right corner
- Tap the settings (three dots) icon
- Choose Settings.
The first thing you see on the Settings screen of the Assistant is your Google account profile picture, your name and your email address. Below that you will have the following tabs:
- Personal info
- Any additional homes that you are part of.
Let us take a look at each of those options one by one.
The Personal info tab has the following options:
- Nickname: What your Assistant will call you
- Your places: Home & work addresses
- Getting around: Transport modes
- Your people: Family & other important contacts
- Payments: Payment methods & purchase approvals
- Weather: Preferred temperature unit
- Reservations: For flights, hotels, & events
- Purchases: Your transactions, including deliveries
What should your Assistant call you? This could be different from your real name. You cannot rename Google Assistant yet, but you can decide what it will call you.
Click the pencil icon next to the current nickname to edit. Enter your new nickname and click ok.
After you enter the new nickname, or even with the current nickname, you have the following options to control how the nickname is pronounced. Each option has a “PLAY” icon to preview how it sounds like.
- Use default: Let Google figure out how to pronounce it.
- Spell it out: You can use English alphabet to spell out how your nickname suggests.
- Record your own: Record how your nickname is pronounced and Google will learn it from your recording.
Tap the back arrow icon when you are done.
This is where you add work and home addresses. At least for now, you cannot add any additional places.
The information added here will be used by Google to tell you how long it will take you to reach office and home during your regular commute hours.
You can update both the addresses from here. Tap Home address or Work address and use the Google maps search field to select the new location.
You also have “X” icons against both Home and Work addresses to remove them.
This is where you can tell Google how you get around to work and other places. You can specify separate transport modes for work and other activities.
Here are your options:
- Drive a car
- Take public transport
Here is an example. If you usually to work (lucky you!) and take public transit to other places, you can select “Walk” in the first drop down (Hoe do you get to work most days) and “Take public transit” from the second drop-down (How do you usually get to other places?)
Whom should Google call when you say “Call mom” ? You can set it here. Do you want Google to remember a birthday so that you can ask “when is my brother’s birthday?”, it will know the answer?
You can set them here.
By default, you have two suggestions on this page. Touching on them will launch the Assistant. You can talk the Assistant to complete the action. For example, touch “Remember a birthday” and the Assistant will ask you to say something like “my mom’s birthday is on ….”.
You should actually be able to do this by launching the Assistant from anywhere, not just the Settings menu because this is just a set of voice commands.
The “Your People” screen, however, will be useful to manage things you have already saved.
You can add payment methods and manage your delivery addresses for shipments from here. These settings apply to all your Google Assistant devices. Changes that you make here will be synced across all your devices.
To make purchases, you need to live in the U.S.
I don’t have this feature yet, so, I’ll have to send you over to the official documentation here.
The “Weather” section has just one item at the moment. You can choose the temperature unity your Assistant should use from here. As usual, your options are Celsius and Fahrenheit.
Google can consolidate flight, hotel and restaurant reservations and show them here. Google Assistant will use this information to give you suggestions and recommendations based on them.
For example, if you have a flight to catch, it can give you details like, your flight’s status (is it delayed? ), how long will it take you to reach the airport and how is the weather in the city where you are going to and more.
By default, you will see flights, hotels, and restaurants all in one list. However, you can tap any of those three options to see only the items in that category.
Just like reservations, Google collects all the purchases information from your Google account and show them all here in one place.
This also means you can ask the Assistant questions regarding your purchases and even get such information at the right time, without you asking for it!
That completes our items under the “Personal info” tab. Let us now move on to the “Assistant” tab.
The Assistant section of, well, Google Assistant, has the following items:
- Assistant voice
- Continued Conversation
- Voice Match
- Home control
- Email updates
- Assistant devices
Let us now take a look at each of these items.
This is where you can change the language of your Assistant and also add one additional language.
As of now, you can enable two languages at the same time. For example, you can use English and Spanish at the same time. When I say the same time, it does not mean you can use a mix of these two languages in the same sentence or command though.
On Android phones and tablets, the Google Assistant is available in:
- Chinese (Traditional)
- Portuguese (Brazil)
Google is actively working on more languages for Assistant. New languages are available on the Beta version of the Assistant.
If you have a Google Assistant device other than your phone, (Google Home Hub, Mini or Max, etc) use the Settings section of the Home app to change or add languages.
This is different from Assistant’s language. There maybe multiple voice that you can pick from. For example, for English users, there are a couple of male and female voices to choose from.
Google has made it easy to pick these voices. Instead of names, they have assigned colors.
Touch on any color to select it. You will also hear a preview of the voice when you touch these voices.
Here are the colors that you can pick from:
- Red (female)
- Orange (male)
- Amber (female)
- Green (male)
- Cyan (female)
- Blue (male)
- Purpose (female)
- Pink (male)
- British Racing Green (female)
- (Sydney Harbour Blue) (female)
Some of these voices may not be available in some devices.
“Continued conversation” is one of the star features of Google Assistant. This allows you to ask follow up questions to the Assistant without saying “Ok Google” again.
For example, you asked Google “who is the president of the United States”, a typical demo question. Now, you want o ask a follow up question. “How tall is he?” Without continued conversation, your conversation will go like this:
- OK Google, who is the president of the United States of America?
- OK Google, how tall is he?
With “Continued conversation”, this will be different. Usually, Home’s (or Assistant’s) microphone will stop listening each time you finish your voice command. It will then turn back on only when you say “OK Google”. (well, of course a part of it is always listening, waiting for you to say “OK Google”, but I am talking about listening to your questions here).
“Continued conversation” keeps the mic open for a short while after every question you ask, waiting for your follow up question. Our example, with “Continued conversation” will look like this:
- OK Google, who is the president of the United States of America?
- How tall is he?
You can then continue asking follow up questions (related to your previous one or even completely new questions) without saying “OK Google” each time.
“Continued Conversation” is currently available for English (US). All the supported devices from your account will be displayed under “Availability“
Voice Match is the feature that teaches Assistant to identify your voice. This helps you get things done using your voice even when your phone is locked. The phone, or the Assistant on your phone, identifies your voice and unlocks it and completes the action.
After you “train” your Assistant to identify your voice, it can give you personalized results on Google Home devices. For example, let us say you have a Google Home Hub in your kitchen. With Voice Match, Home can give you results from your account. When you ask “What’s on my calendar”, it will identify your voice, and give results from your Google account.
Now, if you have another family member who has enabled Voice Match, they will get results from their own Google account for such queries.
If you already have Voice Match enabled, the Voice Match settings screen will give you:
- Teach your Assistant your voice again: This is used to record your voice again and let Assistant “reset” your voice recognition.
- Invite others who use your devices: This is where you invite others in your family to use Voice Match devices in your “Home” (devices added to your “Home” on the Google Home app). You can share the invite as a link using any messaging app.
- Shared devices with Voice Match: This is where you choose devices where you want Voice Match to work. You can choose not to use Voice Match on a specific device, for example, a Google Home Hub that is in your living room. What if you don’t want to display your calendar on this device? You can add or remove devices from here. To add a new device, tap the “+” sign. To remove any device, tap the “X” icon against the device name. You can also “Remove Voice Match from all devices.