Google Assistant has all kinds of time-saving smarts on Android. We all know that much now, don’t we?
But get this: Assistant’s most useful Android superpower is something completely out of sight and up to you to dig up and activate. (And no, I’m not talking about the recently expanded Android Automation Station — although that’s pretty sweet, too.)
This superpower is an intricate web of advanced assistant commands linked to the specific apps and services you uses the most your Android device. And yet, if you didn’t figure out where to look and then take the time to tick all the right switches, these commands would never be available or in any way visible to you.
Don’t worry, though: I’ve got you covered. Just follow the quick and easy steps below and you’ll never miss a thing.
Speaking of which, if you’re hungry for even more Android shortcut magic, head over to my free Android Shortcut Supercourse next. It will teach you all sorts of time-saving tricks for your phone – no matter what kind of Googley dip you’re using.
The Google Assistant Android shortcut secret
First, some good news: Getting into Assistant’s Android shortcut mecca couldn’t be much easier. And whether you had no idea the site existed or you just hadn’t thought to check it out lately, it’s well worth the time to take a look and see what opportunities it offers.
So here we go – a whole three steps:
- Summon the assistant on your phone, either with Hey Google voice command or with any of the available assistant icons on the screen, and say Assistant settings.
- Tap “See all Assistant settings”.
- Scroll waaaaaaay down towards the bottom of the list and find the line labeled “Shortcuts”.
And that’s it: All that’s left is to tap the “Shortcuts” option, say “hocus pocus” for good measure, and then enjoy Assistant’s most amazing Android shortcuts of all.
Holy moly! And what you see there is just the beginning.
Scroll down a bit and you’ll find an app-by-app list above everyone the advanced Assistant shortcuts that are waiting and not yet working on your phone. For example:
- Go into the Chrome section of the Assistant settings area and you can enable voice commands to launch a new tab or new incognito tab in the browser.
- Tap the Google Photos bar and you can add a helpful custom voice command to jump directly into Photos’ “Screenshots” section and see any screenshots you’ve taken.
- If you use Google Messages, Assistant will offer to create custom voice shortcuts to open conversations with some of your most contacted contacts.
- With the Play Store, you can give yourself a simple Assistant command to go straight into the “My Apps” area to see and apply any pending app updates.
- And with Google Drive, you can give yourself new spoken shortcuts to open the app’s “Downloads” area, search function or document scanning tool without extra steps.
The list just goes on from there. And it’s not just Google-made apps in the mix, either:
- LinkedIn, for example, has hidden assistant options for, among other things, opening your notifications, your messages, or your profile.
- WhatsApp offers options to open group chats that you use frequently.
- And Twitter gives you the ability to create custom voice shortcuts for contacts you use frequently that network along with a huge list of specific functional commands.
Oh, and here’s one more nice touch: In addition to enabling all items in Assistant’s Advanced Shortcuts area, you can actually customize the voice commands associated with any of these items and make them whatever you want.
After adding a shortcut, just tap on the “Your Shortcuts” tab in the same area and find the shortcut there. Tap it, tap “Edit” and – well, well. Would you watch it?!
Pretty handsome, right?
All you have to do is take the time to visit this area of Assistant’s Android settings to see what’s available – so remember to actually start using all the custom app-specific commands you create.
The last part is admittedly the toughest piece of the puzzle. But hey, if all else fails, you can always create an assistant reminder to help out.
Get even more advanced shortcut knowledge with my free Android Shortcut Supercourse. You’ll learn tons of new hidden time savers!