Google Assistant is an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant that was introduced way back in 2016 and made its debut with the Google Home Smart Speaker and ‘Google Allo’ messaging app. Then it came preinstalled with the Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones and stayed as an exclusive feature for a while. But after Google made it available for third-party developers, Google Assistant extended to other Android devices, even iOS and a large variety of smart devices.
But as of 2019, Google Assistant is available on all Android/iOS devices and Google is working with app developers to add new features, making the hands-free user experience more delightful.
Now a couple of days ago Google Assistant quietly received a comprehensive update to its text-to-speech messaging features, which allows the virtual assistant to read messages from third-party applications. This update surprised a lot of hardcore Android users who have been asking for this feature for a long time.
What’s new with the update?
Until now, if you asked Google Assistant to read off your incoming messages and used your voice to reply to those messages, it could only read messages exclusively from Google’s Android Messages and Hangouts messaging app. But after the update, the number of supported apps has seen a major increase. Testing confirms that Google Assistant can now read messages from third-party SMS apps as well as internet-based chat apps such as Whatsapp, Telegram, Discord, Slack, GroupMe, Google Voice and more.
Now if you are wondering how to get Google Assistant to read and reply to incoming messages from your favorite app, we have a step-by-step guide for you.
How to get Google Assistant to read and reply to messages from third party-apps?
Step 1: First of all, make sure that you have the latest version of Google App for Android which is 10.33.6(Stable) and 10.41.7(Beta) at the time of this writing. Now activate Google Assistant by saying “OK Google” or “Hey Google” or hold the home button on your device.
Step 2: When the assistant menu shows up, say “Read my messages.“
Step 3: If you are doing it for the first time, Google will ask for your permission to read device notifications. Just click ‘OK’ on the pop-up. (Skip to Step 6 if already done.)
Step 4: You will be redirected to the Notification Access settings. Toggle on the Google switch. Click ‘Allow’ in the pop-up.
Step 5: Now go back to the home screen and activate Google Assistant by saying “Hey Google, read my messages” again.
Step 6: The Google Assistant will show and read the first message notification and ask if you would like to reply to it.
Step 7: You can tell Assistant what to reply by speaking or hit the ‘Reply’ button to type it manually. Click on ‘Send’ after manually typing the message.
Step 8: When you’re done, Google Assistant will send the reply automatically. If there are more unread messages from other apps, Assistant will repeat the process. The only drawback of this feature is that messages containing images, videos and audio clips are inaccessible by Google Assistant. For example, Assistant will say, “the message just contains an audio attachment”, and won’t be played by Assistant. We hope to see this feature added in the future.