While much of the focus today has been on the vast and major changes to the design of Android 12, Google has also included a few extra features in there for good measure. No, we’re not talking about the privacy and security options coming, but instead, there’s another method for activating Google Assistant.
With the added gestures of Android 10, swiping up from the bottom left or right corner could be used to invoke Assistant. When the Pixel 4 was introduced, Google added the ability to “squeeze” the sides to activate Assistant from wherever you were. And with Android 12, now you can make requests of Assistant by pressing and holding down the Power Button for a few seconds.
You’re likely asking yourself the same question we asked ourselves – if the Power Button enables Google Assistant, then how will I access Google Pay or the Google Home toggle? Well, the answer is simple: from the notification shade. After enabling this feature in the Android 12 Gestures settings menu, two new options will appear in your Quick Toggles section of the notification shade.
This is nothing new, as we’ve seen both Apple and Samsung make similar moves with its digital assistants. While Apple hasn’t given its users a choice of being able to disable Siri activation with the Side Button, Samsung caught quite a lot of backlash and ended up making it possible to bring back the traditional power menu in later software versions. Since we are just diving into the first Android 12 beta, it’s too soon to tell whether Google will add the ability to have Google Assistant and the Power Menu working in tandem. But here’s to hoping that it does.