What is the Google Assistant wake word?
Google Assistant has drastically evolved over the years. It started as a way to open apps and answer your queries using Google search results. Now it can turn off lights, play music, and remind you to walk the dog. But many wonder: Can we change the Google Assistant wake word?
For now, you can either use “Hey Google” or “OK Google” to bring the assistant to life, followed by your request. However, changes are afoot, and it looks like Google will remove the need for a wake word on certain queries.
Come with us as we explore why we need a wake phrase and if we can change the Google Assistant wake word. Plus we’ll reveal what might replace it!
Wake word, what’s that?
If you haven’t used a virtual assistant such as Google Assistant, Siri, or Alexa before, you might not understand what a wake work is. It’s simply the phrase you use to activate the technology. From there, you can get it to help you with any queries.
For example, the Google Assistant wake word is “Hey Google” or “OK Google“. It has been that way ever since the assistant was introduced in 2016. They are very bland phases yet have become part of our lexicon. Most of us would rather not have to start with the company’s name, tho!
The situation is similar for the wake words that activate Alexa (“Hey Alexa“) and Siri (“Hey Siri“). Again, bland but iconic in their own ways.
Will the Google Assistant respond to a different wake word?
After a while, you’ll tire of saying “OK Google” every few minutes. You’ll wonder; can we change the Google Assistant wake word, like you can with Alexa?
Sadly, even with countless users trying, the harsh reality is you can’t change the Google Assistant wake word. Well, at least not officially.
According to Google, the majority of users are happy with the “Hey/OK Google” phrase. And so they don’t plan on changing it anytime soon.
Thankfully, all hope is not lost. There are a few ways to change the wake word on your Google device and Assistant.
#1 Use Tasker to change the wake word
There’s a cheap app called Tasker, which ramps up the productivity of inbuilt Google services on your device. It costs a couple of pounds. The app works with other apps in the form of plug-ins to provide over 350 unique functions for the user.
As it costs less than a cup of coffee, buying Tasker is a great investment, particularly if you want to change the Google Assistant wake word.
#2 Make the Most of Your Assistant
Using the Google Assistant with a Google Nest device, allows you to access a wider range of personalised features. As with Alexa, you can change the gender and the accent of your assistant, adding a personal touch to your device.
- First, activate Google Assistant on your device
- Tap on your Profile Picture in the window that opens up
- Scroll down and tap on Assistant voice
- Change the accent and gender of the assistant’s voice.
Another cool idea is to try one of the many celebrity cameo voices available. You can ask your Google Assistant to speak like John Legend! The results do not disappoint. If you haven’t played around with the different voice options, it’s worth experimenting.
#3 Unofficial apps
You can easily find several apps that can help you change the Google Assistant wake word. However, none of these apps are officially supported by Google and may not work on all devices.
Here are some of the apps that can help change the Google Assistant wake word:
- Wake Word Changer
- Google Assistant Plus
- Assistant Trigger
- Assistant Trigger Pro
- Google Assistant Unlock
As unofficial apps, if you’re having trouble changing the wake word, you’ll need to contact the app developers for support.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I change OK Google to something else?
“OK Google” and “Hey Google” are the two phrases that are ideally used to address the assistant. These gender-neutral names are easy to remember and aren’t easily confused with the names of other people. While there is no official way of changing the name, several apps are available.
How do I change OK Google to Bob?
Many users have tried to give Google a new identity, but most of the time, it hardly works. Google prefers its name and convinces tries to stick with it. So you can’t change it to Bob or another word without using a 3rd party app. Sorry!
Any benefits of changing the wake word?
Using a 3rd part app, you can change the wake word to something less likely to be triggered by other sounds, such as “Hey Boo Boo” or “OK Hugo.” You can also change it to something fun or personalised!
Are there any risks of changing the wake word?
You change the wake word to something that is easily triggered by other sounds meaning you find that the Google Assistant is activated more often than you want.
Also, if you change the wake word to something that is not commonly used, you may have difficulty getting it to respond to your commands.
What are some tips for choosing a Google Assistant wake word?
When choosing a Google Assistant wake word, it is important to choose a phrase that is:
- Easy for you to say
- Less likely to be triggered by other sounds
- Fun or personalised
Will we always need a Google Assistant wake word?
Google is working on a feature called ‘Quick phrases’ that could end the need for you to say Hey, Google wake word for common tasks. In the future, you could directly ask “What time is it?” or “Set the alarm”, without needing to start with “Hey Google“.
This change was first reported by 9to5 Google, who wrote an extensive article on the subject. So you’ll want to read it if you’re interested to learn more about what’s coming next from Google.