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Tech tips

Android tip: 6 fixes for annoying Google Assistant problems

Google Assistant is one of the most helpful tools on your smartphone. It can read the news or tell you a joke to brighten your day and so much more.

Did you know you can use Google’s virtual assistant to order a coffee? We can’t think of a better way to start the day. Tap or click here for five Google Assistant tricks you may not know about.

No technology is perfect, and sometimes Google Assistant refuses to cooperate, leading to troublesome troubleshooting. We’re here to help with solutions for some of the most common Google Assistant problems. 

Problem #1: Google Assistant won’t respond when you talk to it

Sometimes we speak louder if we think Google Assistant can’t hear us. Heads up: It’s not great-grandma, and talking louder won’t help. If your Assistant is set up to recognize your normal tone and cadence when you speak, yelling garbles everything up. 

Solution: Instead of shouting “Hey Google!” even louder, bring the device closer and use your inside voice.

Problem #2: Google Assistant doesn’t recognize your voice

If Google doesn’t seem to care about what you say, it could be that you haven’t taught it what you sound like. Introduce yourself to your Google Assistant by setting up Voice Match. From then on, it should hear you loud and clear. 

Solution: Set up Voice Match on your device.

Here are the steps to set up Voice Match on your Android phone:

  • Open the Google Home app.
  • Tap your profile photo.
  • Tap Assistant Settings.
  • Scroll down and select Hey Google & Voice Match.
  • Toggle Hey Google to On.
  • Select Voice Model.
  • Tap Train/Retrain voice model.
  • Speak the words on the screen in your normal voice.
  • Tap Finish.

Problem #3: It’s pronouncing your wife’s name oddly.

Even Google can get confused. If “Karen” has become “Kahwren,” don’t worry. Speech recognition and AI are still developing fields. You can help your Google Assistant learn by teaching it how to pronounce the name correctly. It will listen to what you say and match it. 

Solution: Teach Google Assistant how to pronounce a name.

  • Say, “Hey Google, open Assistant Settings.
  • Scroll down and tap You
  • Tap Your People
  • Select the contact’s name.
  • Scroll down to Name Pronunciation.
  • Select Record Your Own
  • Tap the microphone symbol.
  • Speak the name.
  • Click the Play symbol to hear Google Assistant use the new pronunciation.
  • If it sounds right, tap Save. If not, tap Record Again.

Problem #4: Your assistant calls you the wrong name.

Google calls you by the default name listed when you first set up your Google account. If you prefer to go by a different name, it’s easy enough to change. Changing these settings will not change the name on your Google or Gmail account; it only affects what your Google Assistant calls you. 

Solution: Change your nickname.

How to change your nickname on an Android Phone:

  • Say, “Hey Google, open Assistant Settings.”
  • Scroll down and tap Basic Info.
  • Tap Nickname.
  • Tap Edit.
  • Enter your name.
  • Tap OK.

Problem #5: Please just shut up

If your Google assistant has a hair trigger and is constantly popping off when you least expect it, there’s a fast fix. It takes just a few taps to silence Google Assistant.

Solution: Turn off Google Assistant.

Here’s how to turn off Google Assistant:

  • Launch your Google Home App.
  • Tap your profile picture.
  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap Google Assistant.
  • Scroll down to General.
  • Toggle the Google Assistant switch to Off.

Note: Turning Google Assistant off does not automatically delete any data it may have collected while you were using it. Tap or click here to delete everything Google knows about you.

Problem #6: You hate your Google Assistant’s voice

Does your Google Assistant’s default voice grate on your nerves? Thankfully, there’s more to your assistant than a one-size-fits-all option.

Google has introduced 10 voice options for you to choose from. All of the options are non-binary. Rather than being male or female, they are listed as colors within the app. You can select anything from Red to Sydney Harbor Blue. 

Solution: Change the sound of your Google Assistant’s voice.

  • Say, “OK Google, open Assistant Settings.”
  • Scroll down to Assistant Voice & Sounds.
  • Click each of the dots to listen to your options.
  • Tap the one you like and it will save automatically.

It’s worth it to make an effort to set up your Google Assistant how you like it. There are many versatile things you can do with it. It makes most tasks hands-free while you are driving and allows you to pull up your favorite Spotify playlist instantly.

Want more tips? Use your Google Assistant to add events to your calendar on the fly or make it wait on hold for you next time you need to call your bank or tech support. 

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