How to enable Google Assistant quick phrases on your Pixel phone to save time

A woman setting up a Google Pixel 6A smartphone for a child.

Google

I use Google Assistant quite a bit on my Pixel phones. Being able to do certain tasks without having to type on this tiny keyboard makes my life a lot more efficient.

But wouldn’t it be even better if you could make the Google Assistant a little more efficient?

Well, Google and its bevy of Android developers have thought of just that.

Usually, when you want to do something with the Google Assistant, you start by saying “OK, Google” or “Hey, Google”. But there is more to it than that.

If you have one of the newer Pixel phones (Pixel 6 or newer) the Google Assistant app has a not-so-obvious feature called “Quick Phrases” that simplifies the interactions you have for things like alarms, timers, and incoming calls.

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Think of it this way: When a timer or alarm goes off, you can either find the phone and tap the stop button. Or you could say something like, “Hey Google, turn off the alarm.”

What if you could just say “stop” when the alarm went off? This is possible thanks to quick sentences. When this feature is enabled, stopping an alarm is as easy as saying “stop” and snoozing an alarm is as easy as saying “snooze.” For phone calls, when this feature is enabled, you can answer an incoming call by saying “Answer,” reject an incoming call by saying “Reject,” and mute your ringtone by saying “Mute.”

It is really that easy.

But how do you enable these features? Well, thanks to Google Assistant, it’s pretty easy. Let me show you how.

Here’s how to enable Google Assistant quick sets on your Pixel phone to save time

requirements

The only thing you need is a Pixel phone with at least version 10 of Android. That’s it, let’s do some magic.

The first thing you need to do is access the Google Assistant settings. It should come as no surprise that you can do this with the help of Google Assistant. To do this, say “Hey, Google, Assistant settings.”

In the resulting window you should see two ON/OFF switches, one for alarms and timers and one for incoming calls. Chances are, the “Quick Sentences” option is already enabled for alarms and timers. If so, leave it like that.

For incoming calls, tap the ON/OFF slider to the ON position. Once you’ve done that, you can exit the Google Assistant settings window and start using quick expressions.

The Google Assistant settings window.

Enabling quick phrases for alarms and timers, and for incoming calls.

Image: Jack Wallen

A small caveat

There is, of course, a caveat to this. If you don’t know your phone is ringing (assuming you’ve put it on silent) and you say “answer” at the same time, you can answer a call you don’t want to answer. Because of this, you should be careful what you say around your Pixel phone when a call comes in. The other problem is that by saying these commands someone else could answer your phone for you or reject a call for you. Because of this, you should consider your surroundings and the people you hang out with frequently when receiving calls.

That being said, Google’s quick phrases can really help make your Pixel life a little more efficient. Try out quick phrases and see if the feature doesn’t make your life a little easier.

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