Google removed a useful way to access Assistant on Pixel phones

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Over the past several years, we’ve seen numerous convenient ways to access Google Assistant. You can start it up by using software gestures, voice, and physical hardware buttons. Well, not too long after removing a handful of unused Google Assistant features, Google just removed a useful shortcut that summoned Assistant.

The removed shortcut resided in the Google search widget. Right next to the Google Lens icon, you saw a microphone icon. This would quickly open up the Google Assistant so that you could search for that recipe.

However, Google removed the Google Assistant shortcut from the widget

The Google widget is an extremely important part of the Pixel launcher. You’re able to simply search for content on the phone itself using the widget, along with having quick one-tap access to Google. Also, it gives you quick access to Google Lens. The microphone icon next to the Google Lens icon formerly brought up the Google Assistant.

However, a few weeks ago, the company announced that it was going to remove that particular shortcut to the Assistant. Rather than getting rid of the icon, it will simply bring up Voice Search. Whatever you say will open up a basic Google search. So, you will not get the vocal feedback that you would get from the Assistant. This is unfortunate for people who become accustomed to accessing the Assistant that way.

Other ways to access the Google Assistant

While Google is taking away a shortcut, there are still other ways to access Google Assistant. For starters, you can use the hot words “Hey Google” and “Okay Google”. If you don’t feel like using your voice, you can set your Pixel phone to access Assistant when you hold down the power button. This basically allows you to speak into your phone as if you’re using a walkie-talkie.

Lastly, if you don’t want to use those methods, there’s also the swipe gesture. Place your finger on the edge of your phone near the bottom, then swipe upward diagonally. So, if your finger is near the bottom left bezel, swipe diagonally to the right. You will see the colored line appear on the bottom bezel. Then, you’ll be able to speak to your phone

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