“Hey Google” Hot Word Now Available on Phones

Since its release last year, Google Home has always responded to two hot words:  “OK Google” or “Hey Google”.  On phones, however, it has been “OK Google” since Google Assistant began rolling out to a broader set of devices.  That now appears to be changing.

Google has made a cloud side change for Google Assistant that now allows your phone to respond to “Hey Google”.  This change has been touted for months now, really since the October Pixel event where it was demonstrated.  The goal of this change is to allow users to have one consistent hot word to use and to make Google Assistant more conversational.

For end users, there is nothing that you need to do.  Assuming you are running the latest version of Google Assistant, once the update hits your device, you will get a notification to retrain your voice model for Assistant.  Part of that retraining will be using both hot word commands so it understands both of them.  Further settings will allow you to unlock your phone using the command too (although Google points out that it isn’t as secure).

It should be noted that for Pixel 2 owners, you may not see the retrain notification.  You can go into settings however and retrain your voice model manually.  If you are prompted to say “Hey Google” in that retraining, you know you are up-to-date.


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