Ever wonder if the hands-free capabilities of Google’s voice assistant extend to unlocking your smartphone? The Google Assistant can do a lot with voice commands, including locking a smartphone.
But can you still unlock your phone using your voice? Can you use the Google Assistant while your phone is locked? And how can you set a lock command with the voice assistant?
We answer these questions and more in this article on how to lock and unlock your phone with the Google Assistant.
How to get the Google Assistant on Android
Newer Android phones (usually running Android 7.0 Nougat and above) come with the Google Assistant already installed. When setting up your new phone, you simply need to enable the feature and give the Google app the appropriate permissions.
In case you are not sure if it is enabled, press and hold the key House on your phone or use the “Hey Google” voice prompt. If the Wizard is available, it will open and prepare for a command. If not, a popup window will ask you to enable the Wizard.
If you have an older version of Android, the Google Assistant is delivered via an automatic update. Any phone running Android Lollipop (5.0) or higher can run the app; just download the Google Assistant app from Google Play.
There are some prerequisites that may make upgrading difficult or delayed. If your phone supports Assistant but you haven’t seen a prompt to activate it, you need to check some criteria first.
First of all, make sure that the language you have selected for your phone is one of the languages supported by the Google Assistant. He Google Assistant Help Page includes a list of supported languages.
If you have the correct language set and you still don’t see the Google Assistant, make sure your Google Play Services app is up to date. You also need at least 1 GB of memory on Android 5.0 or 1.5 GB of memory on Android 6.0 and a screen resolution of 720p. Once you have all the prerequisites in place, you can set up Google Assistant.
To train Voice Match, you’ll need the separate Google app.
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Can you unlock your phone with the Google Assistant?
Unfortunately, while Android previously allowed you to unlock your phone using your voice with the Google Assistant, this is no longer a supported Google command.
For a while, older versions of Android supported this voice command, while newer versions removed it. However, since 2021, Google Assistant has removed the feature in all versions.
Instead, it alternatively gives you the ability to access the Google Assistant and give voice commands on your lock screen, without needing to unlock your phone at all.
You can also use a workaround to lock your phone with the Google Assistant, which we’ll cover in this story as well.
How to use the Google Assistant when your phone is locked
So what options do you now have on Android to use the Google Assistant with your voice while your phone is locked? Voice Match on these devices won’t let you unlock your phone, but you can still use Google Assistant voice commands while your phone is locked.
You must first train a trusted voice model to do this. Open the Google app, touch your profile picture, And go to Settings > Google Assistant. Then scroll down to Hello Google and voice match. Here you can train a voice model and also enable access to the assistant when your screen is off.
To allow the Google Assistant to work while your phone is locked, visit lock screen in Google Assistant settings. Here you can enable Assistant responses on the lock screen. If you also want personalized results, enable the option below. You can also go to Settings > personal results so that the Assistant can provide you with personal results.
Enabling personal results allows Google to send messages and emails, call your contacts, access your calendar, and more. Meanwhile, lock screen permissions let you use the “Hey Google” command to wake up your phone and give it voice commands while the screen is still locked.
How to voice lock your phone with the Google Assistant
Locking your phone with the Google Assistant is a much simpler matter. However, it requires a bit of setup because the app doesn’t have native functionality to lock your phone.
So how to fix this? By using a custom command.
In the Google Assistant, you can set up custom commands and command strings, called Routines. Setting up custom voice commands with Google Assistant routines extends the capabilities of the Assistant. Locking your phone is just one way you can use this feature.
There are a variety of apps that have the sole purpose of locking your phone. You simply need to pair one of these apps with a custom command from Google. First, you need to download one.
Two options, both free, include:
These apps require administrator permissions to lock your phone, so you’ll have to weigh whether the security risk is really worth it.
Install the apps and grant them the necessary permissions. Every time you open the app, it will turn off your screen and lock your phone.
Add a screen off command in the Google Assistant
To turn this into a hands-free option, you need to get the Google Assistant to open the lock screen app for you. You can do this by opening Assistant settings menu as before, selecting routinesand adding a new custom command with the +new button. Choose if the routine is a Staff either Familiar routine.
You can then give the routine a title and select an initiator (flag) and an action. To do this, go to Add Launcher > When I tell the Google Assistant and enter commands like:
- “Lock my phone”
- “Lock screen”
- “Go to sleep”
Any statement will do, and you can add as many variations as you like. These are personal commands, not native to the Google Assistant.
Now under the heading Behaviourfaucet Add Action > Try adding your own and write “Opened [Screen Lock] application”. Include the name of the lock screen app you have installed. then touch Save.
Be sure to include the full name of the app as it appears on your phone, otherwise it will just run a Google search. Save the command and you’re done. Now whenever you say a lock phrase, Assistant will automatically lock your screen.
Hands-free use with the Google Assistant
If you didn’t know how to lock your phone with the Google Assistant, you may have missed out on some of the other features of the app. Custom commands and routines open up a whole new world of functionality, if you use the right apps.
The Assistant also has many built-in features and commands that can make your life and daily tasks easier.