Want to learn how to use Google Assistant on your Android device or iPhone? Here are the steps you need to get started.

Digital voice assistants have become an important part of our lives, and you’d be right to assume that Google Assistant is by far the most intuitive one of all.

If you’re looking to set up Google Assistant on your Android or iOS device, this guide is for you. Let’s see how you can get started.

Device Requirements for Google Assistant

Before you start to use Google Assistant like a pro, you need to make sure if your phone or tablet can run it. Take a look at the device requirements below to see if your Android or iOS device supports Google Assistant.

For Android:

  • Android 5.0 or higher
  • 1GB of available RAM or higher
  • Google app running app version 6.13 or higher
  • 720p screen resolution or higher
  • Google Play Services

For iOS:

  • iOS 11 or higher
  • Google Assistant app

If you have an entry-level phone with memory lower than 1GB, use Google Assistant Go instead. It’s essentially a lite version of the regular Google Assistant; it comes with fewer features and doesn’t support hands-free control, but it’s just as useful for simple tasks.

How to Download Google Assistant on Android and iOS

If you own an Android device, you don’t need to download the Google Assistant app because the feature comes pre-installed on all modern Android devices. But in case your device doesn’t have it, you can get it from the Google Play Store.

Google Assistant doesn’t come pre-installed for iPhones and iPads since Apple wants you to use its native voice assistant Siri instead. Nevertheless, you can still download the Google Assistant app for iOS on the Apple App Store. Do note that the feature doesn’t work as well on iOS devices as it does on Android devices.

How to Enable Google Assistant on Android

Google Assistant comes turned on by default on almost all Android devices. To check if it’s active on your device, long-press the Home button. If it’s active, the assistant will start listening to you; if not, you’ll be asked to turn it on via a small prompt at the bottom of your screen.

If the prompt doesn’t appear, you can turn it on in the Google Assistant settings like this:

  1. Launch the Google app.
  2. Tap on your profile picture and select Settings.
  3. Go to Google Assistant > General.
  4. Enable the Google Assistant toggle.

Once turned on, your Google Assistant is ready to answer your questions, follow your commands, and bring you relevant search results. Simply long-press your Home button and speak. If you use gesture navigation instead of buttons, swipe your finger diagonally from either side of the bottom corners of your screen to the center.

The assistant should appear saying “Hi, how can I help?”. When that happens, you can start talking. For instance, you can say things like “How old is Tom Holland?” or “Set a reminder for March 17, 10 am” or “Play Bohemian Rhapsody on Spotify”.

How to Make Google Assistant Recognize Your Voice

Alongside long-pressing the home button or using gestures, you can also launch Google Assistant using your voice via Voice Match whereby saying the trigger words “Hey Google” or “Ok Google” will wake the assistant up.

Through Voice Match, Google Assistant also gives you personalized results as opposed to generic ones. But before you start trying this out, you first need to train the assistant to recognize your voice.

To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Long-press the Home button to launch Google Assistant.
  2. Say “Open Assistant settings”.
  3. Tap Hey Google & Voice Match.
  4. Enable the Hey Google toggle.
  5. Follow the onscreen steps then tap Finish.

If your Google Assistant is still not able to recognize your voice, you can retrain it later under Hey Google & Voice Match > Voice model > Retrain voice model. For faster navigation, you can also say “Open voice match settings” or “Recognize my voice” into your Google Assistant.

As a tip, make sure that you don’t have your headphones plugged in or your earbuds connected to your phone. Instead, use the mic on your phone and speak the trigger words naturally without putting excessive effort into sounding clear.

How to Enable Google Assistant on iPhone and iPad

There’s no need to go through a setup process with Google Assistant on iPhone and iPad. Voice Match is not available for iOS and iPadOS, so you can’t wake Assistant on your device seamlessly. Simply open the Google Assistant app each time you want to use it.

How to Activate Google Assistant on Android and iOS

There are multiple ways you can talk to Google Assistant on your device, although activating it is a slightly different experience on Android and iOS.

On Android:

  • Tap and hold the Home button.
  • Swipe diagonally from either side of the button corners to the center of your screen.
  • Say “Hey Google” or “Ok Google”.
  • Open the Google Assistant app and tap the mic icon (or the keyboard icon for text).
  • Tap the mic icon on the Google Search widget on your Home screen.
  • On the Pixel 2, 3, 3a, and 4, squeeze the bottom half of the phone.
  • On the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro, press and hold the Power button.

If you’re running Android version 8.0 or higher, you can access Google Assistant on your lock screen without having to pick up and unlock your device—a useful feature for when you’re driving or cooking. However, if you gave it a command to, say, open YouTube, that will require you to unlock your device first.

On iOS:

  • Open the Google Assistant app and say “Hey Google” or “Ok Google”.
  • Open the Google Assistant app and tap the mic icon (or the keyboard icon for text).
  • Tap the mic icon on the Google Search widget on your Home screen

Once you’re done with the setup, you can use Google Assistant in a variety of ways such as asking questions, changing your device settings, opening apps, calling friends, and more.

Get More Done Faster With Google Assistant

In many ways, Google Assistant is the best voice assistant you can use regardless of which smart device you are using. It’s more intuitive and is better at understanding context; this means it’s better at maintaining continuous conversations and responding more naturally to your questions and commands.