Google has begun the process or rolling out a combination app and server-side update that enables the “Hey Google” hot word on Android phones. Once complete, you can activate Google Assistant by using the trigger just like you can on Google Home.
To this point, the only hot word that Assistant would respond to on your phone has been “OK Google”. When Google Home was released last year, Assistant on the smart speaker would respond to this too as well as “Hey Google”. It is unclear why it took so long to get to phones but it is slowing rolling out to users now.
You will know when it has hit your account when you get a notification in the notification shade that you need to retrain Google Assistant. If you dismiss the notification by accident, you can still get to it via the Settings of the Google app. Once the retraining is complete, your phone will respond to both hot word commands.
Ultimately the hope is that this new addition to Assistant will begin paving the way for personalized hot words. Amazon’s Alexa has the option to setup a personalized hot word on Echo devices which, for some, is a big deal.