One of the best features of the Google Pixelbook is the built-in and dedicated keyboard key for Google Assistant. As I put in my review of the Pixelbook, the Google Assistant integration works great and it has proven to be a far more handy feature than I expected it to be when I first got the Chromebook.
By default, the Assistant keyboard button opens up with the default interaction as the keyboard. In other words, typing your request to Assistant. Google does this because it has also designed the Pixelbook to respond to “Hey, Google” (assuming you have enabled it). But sometimes, having the keyboard key configured to accept voice commands can be handy. Think of it as being similar to when you tap and hold the Home button down on your Android phone.
In this How To, I’ll show you how you can configure the Assistant keyboard key to open up and listen for your voice commands instead of typed inputs.
First, press the Google Assistant key on your Pixelbook’s keyboard to open it up. Now tap on the blue Explore button in the upper-right corner of the Assistant page.
On the Explore page, open up the overflow menu (three vertical dots) and navigate down to Settings. There, in your device listing, you should see Chromebook as device. Tap on it to open up the settings for your Chromebook. Now you should be at the page for all your preference for Google Assistant on your Chromebook. The setting we are looking for is “Preferred Input”.
Tap this setting and switch it from Keyboard to Voice. Close Assistant by pressing the Assistant key and you are done. Now when you press the key, Assistant will be listening for your voice to give it a command.
You can, of course, always change this by going back into the settings and changing the Preferred Input back to keyboard.
For more How To’s, be sure to check out the Tips & Tricks section.