What is the name of the voice assistant on my Android phone?

Android phones have become incredibly popular globally, holding a majority market share in recent years. With this popularity has come the integration of voice assistants on Android devices. These AI-powered assistants allow users to interact with their phones hands-free using natural language voice commands. Voice interaction has become a key feature that many users now expect and rely on.

In this article, we will be covering the name of the default voice assistant that comes built-in on Android phones. We will look at its history, key features, customization options, and how it compares to alternatives like Siri and Alexa.

History of Android

Android is a mobile operating system based on a modified version of the Linux kernel. It was originally developed by Android Inc., which was funded by Google in 2005. In 2007, Google acquired Android Inc. and continued to develop the operating system (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system)).

One of the earliest versions of Android to include voice capabilities was Cupcake, released in 2009. It allowed users to tap the screen and use speech to text to enter text fields. Donut, released later in 2009, included text-to-speech capabilities (https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/10/building-android-a-40000-word-history-of-googles-mobile-os/14/).

In 2010, Android 2.2 Froyo introduced Voice Actions, which allowed users to control certain phone functions like calling and texting using voice commands. This voice control software was the most advanced for its time according to Ars Technica.

Later versions of Android continued to expand voice capabilities. In 2012, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean launched Google Now, an intelligent personal assistant that could provide information cards based on user behavior. And in 2014, Android 5.0 Lollipop introduced enhanced voice search that allowed users to speak queries instead of typing (https://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/android-operating-system.asp).

Google Assistant – The Default Voice Assistant for Android

Google Assistant is the default voice assistant that comes built-in on all Android devices. Introduced in 2016, Google Assistant is deeply integrated into the Android operating system, allowing users to access it through voice commands, the home button, or by typing requests.

Users can launch Google Assistant on Android by saying “OK Google” or “Hey Google”, even when the device is locked. Google Assistant can understand natural language requests and complete tasks like setting alarms, answering questions, playing music, launching apps, controlling smart home devices, and more.

As the native voice assistant for Android, Google Assistant is optimized to work seamlessly with Android phones and tablets. Features like screen search and driving mode make full use of Android capabilities to deliver useful information quickly. Overall, the deep integration with Android allows Google Assistant to offer the most seamless and full-featured voice assistant experience on Android devices.

OK Google

“OK Google” is one of the main wake phrases used to activate the Google Assistant on Android devices. When a user says “OK Google” out loud, it triggers the voice recognition feature, prompting Google Assistant to start listening for voice commands or queries. As explained here, the phrases “OK Google” and “Hey Google” are currently the only two wake words supported to launch the Google Assistant.

“OK Google” became the default wake phrase when Google first launched its voice assistant feature on Android phones back in 2012. Since then, it has become a ubiquitous phrase that Android users associate with activating their virtual assistant. The simplicity and natural flow of “OK Google” as a prompting wake up command for Google Assistant is likely why it has persisted as the main option on Android.

Some users wish they could customize the wake phrase to be a unique one of their choosing. However, “OK Google” remains one of the only two options for now, given Google’s focus on consistency and branding. Nonetheless, the phrase works well in prompting Google Assistant to start listening and responding to voice commands. For most Android users, saying “OK Google” has become a daily habit when accessing the helpful features of their virtual assistant.


Google Assistant provides a wide range of features and capabilities through voice interactions. Users can initiate queries and commands by saying “Hey Google” or “OK Google” to activate the assistant 1. Some key features include:

Voice Commands – Users can speak naturally to Google Assistant to get information, set reminders and alarms, make calls, play music and podcasts, and control smart home devices. The assistant understands natural language requests and can respond conversationally 2.

Personalization – Google Assistant can provide personalized results based on signed-in account info, location, web history and preferences. Users can customize settings for voice, routines, home control, and more 3.

Integration – The assistant integrates with Google services like Search, Maps, Calendar, Gmail, Chrome, YouTube and more. It also works with many third-party apps and services like Spotify, Netflix, Uber, and smart home platforms.

Conversational – Google Assistant can engage in natural two-way conversations, understand context and follow-up questions. The assistant leverages Google’s language processing capabilities to parse speech and respond conversationally.

Proactive – Google Assistant can provide proactive notifications and suggestions based on time, location, habits, and upcoming calendar events. For example, it may suggest leaving for an appointment based on traffic.

Voice Technology

Google Assistant uses advanced voice recognition technology to understand and respond to users’ spoken requests. When a user says “OK Google” or “Hey Google,” the assistant activates and begins recording audio. This audio is sent to Google’s servers where automatic speech recognition algorithms analyze the acoustic qualities of the audio to determine what words were spoken.

Specifically, Google uses neural network machine learning models trained on a massive dataset of human speech samples to match incoming audio to phonemes, the basic units of sound that make up words. It breaks the audio into short segments, extracts audio features like pitch and volume, and compares them to its trained models to identify the most likely sequence of words spoken.

Google has invested heavily in improving its speech recognition capabilities over the years. Recent advances in deep learning and neural networks have enabled Google Assistant to understand natural language and more complex queries compared to earlier voice assistants. Google claims the assistant can recognize over 100 languages and variants and can understand context and meaning behind requests to provide the most relevant information or action.

To improve accuracy for each individual user, Google Assistant offers personalized voice recognition. Users can go through an enrollment flow to “teach” the assistant their unique voiceprint. This allows it to create and store a mathematical representation of the characteristics of the user’s vocal patterns. When that user speaks to Google Assistant, it compares the incoming speech to the user’s unique voice model for more accurate recognition and verification (source).


One of the great things about Google Assistant is how customizable it is for each user. There are several ways to tailor Google Assistant to your preferences and make it feel more personal.

One of the most basic ways to customize Google Assistant is by changing the wake phrase from the default “Hey Google” to something else entirely. According to this Google support page, you can change the wake phrase by saying “Hey Google, open Assistant settings” and then choosing a new phrase under “All settings.” This allows users to activate Google Assistant using a word or phrase that is more natural for them.

You can also customize Google Assistant by selecting a different voice. Google offers a wide variety of voices ranging from male and female to even celebrity voices. The process for changing the voice is the same – just open the Assistant settings and select a new voice under “Assistant voice.” This makes Google Assistant feel more personalized by letting users choose a voice they enjoy hearing.

Beyond wake phrases and voices, Google Assistant can also be customized via Voice Match. According to this blog post from Google, Voice Match allows Google Assistant to recognize your voice specifically and provide tailored results and preferences. This feature makes the assistant experience feel much more personalized.

With all of these options for customization, users can shape Google Assistant into an AI assistant that feels like their own personal helper. The ability to tweak the wake phrase, voice, and voice recognition gives individuals more control over their interaction with this handy virtual assistant.

New Developments

Google continuously works on improving Google Assistant and its integration with Android devices. Some emerging updates and announcements related to this include:

In January 2024, Google announced upcoming changes to Google Assistant to improve quality and reliability, including removing support for some underutilized features (https://blog.google/products/assistant/google-assistant-update-january-2024/).

In October 2022, Google highlighted new updates to Google Assistant to make it easier to get things done across devices. This included updates to how Assistant understands natural language on Android devices and improvements to speech recognition (https://blog.google/products/assistant/google-assistants-new-updates-make-it-easier-than-ever-to-get-things-done-across-devices/).

Google also continuously rolls out new features and integrations between Assistant and Android, like the ability to control smart home devices, set reminders, get help with apps, and more. The company is focused on making Assistant increasingly conversational and personalized.


While Google Assistant is the default virtual assistant on Android phones, there are other options users can download and utilize. Two major alternatives are Bixby, Samsung’s own virtual assistant, and Alexa, Amazon’s popular voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant.

Bixby comes pre-installed on Samsung Galaxy devices and can handle many of the same tasks as Google Assistant, such as setting reminders, answering questions, and controlling smart home devices. However, Bixby is deeply integrated into Samsung’s ecosystem and offers some unique features tailored for Galaxy users.

The Alexa app brings the full capabilities of Amazon’s assistant to Android. Users can ask Alexa questions, set timers and alarms, play music, get weather updates, control smart home devices, and more. An Alexa device like an Echo is not required as the app provides hands-free voice control. However, owning an Alexa device does allow for additional functionality.

There are also third-party virtual assistant apps on the Google Play Store, such as Braina, Dragon, and Skyvi. While not as full-featured as Bixby or Alexa, these apps provide unique capabilities like making calls, translating languages, and automating tasks.


In summary, Google Assistant is the default voice assistant that comes pre-installed on all Android smartphones and tablets. When you get a new Android device, the Google Assistant is ready to respond to your voice commands right out of the box. All you need to do is say “OK Google” or “Hey Google” and the Assistant will activate to answer questions, perform searches, open apps, set reminders, and much more.

One of the key benefits of the Google Assistant is that it utilizes the knowledge graph from Google Search, allowing it to understand context and have more natural conversations. It can also connect seamlessly with other Google services like Maps, Calendar, and YouTube. Over time, the Assistant learns your preferences and habits to deliver even more personalized results. With continual advancements in machine learning and natural language processing, the capabilities of the Google Assistant will only continue to grow.

So if you ever find yourself wondering which voice assistant comes with your Android device, just remember it’s the Google Assistant ready to help you get things done and make your life easier using just the sound of your voice.

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