On our most recent IoT Podcast, David called in because he’s having some issues with the many smart speakers in his home. They seem to fight with David’s Pixel 4 phone when he says “OK Google”; instead of his handset answering his question or fulfilling his smart home request, his Google Home speakers decide to interject themselves into the conversation. And as a result, sometimes the Google Assistant responds on both his phone and his smart speakers.
It’s possible that re-training the Google Assistant with his voice will help David’s situation, so we first recommend that option. If that doesn’t work, however, there is a foolproof workaround that his Pixel 4 supports. It’s one I’ve used myself in fact. You can disable the always listening functionality for the Google Assistant wake word on the phone.
While this isn’t an ideal solution, I’ve found that I’m more intentional about using the Google Assistant on my own phone. That’s because if I know I want my phone to be my assistant, I have to actually tap the on-screen microphone. Or in the case of David’s Pixel 4, a squeeze of the handset takes the place of the spoken hotword.
To disable the always-on “OK Google” listening function on an Android phone, you’ll first want to either touch and hold the Home button or say “OK Google”. Next, tap the Explore icon at the bottom right of the Google app. Then, in the top right, tap your account icon (or initials if you don’t have a personalized icon). Finally, tap Settings and then Assistant to see the configuration options under the Assistant devices section.
Here you can choose to disable “OK Google” and the phone will no longer be constantly listening for that phrase.
Again, with a supported Pixel 2, 3 or 4 device, you can use the squeeze gesture to trigger the Google Assistant. To ensure that your phone is properly configured, go to Settings, System, Gestures and then Active Edge.
To hear David’s question, as well as our conversation in full, tune in to the IoT Podcast below: