How To Travel Using Google Assistant


Google Assistant is one of the best AI-powered virtual assistants that made its debut in 2016 with the Google Home Speaker and the ‘Google Allo’ messaging app. Google started integrating it with its Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones exclusively for a while. But after Google made the source code available to different Android device manufacturers, Google Assistant comes preinstalled on all Android devices. You can also get it on iOS and a variety of smart televisions, speakers, and other home automation devices.

Google Assistant can do many things, but some of the features can actually be beneficial to you. If you travel a lot, Google’s virtual assistant possesses the ability to help you on your travels.

So if you are planning for a weekend trip or a vacation, continue reading this article to learn how you can utilize Google Assistant for your vacations.

How To Use Google Assistant?

For Android users, here’s how to use Google Assistant:

  • For all the Android devices running Android 5.0 or later, you can simply activate Google Assistant simply by holding down the capacitive or on-screen Home button. 
  • You can also say ‘OK Google’ or ‘Hey Google’ to trigger the assistant (Only if you have enabled the Voice Trigger feature)
  • If you are doing it for the first time, a setup menu will prompt you to follow the on-screen instructions to successfully set up Google Assistant for further usage.

If you are an owner of HTC U11 or U12+, you can utilize HTC’s edge sense feature to trigger Google Assistant, by squeezing your device from both sides. The devices have pressure-sensitive sensors beneath the left and right edges of the body frame, which registers the squeeze as a keypress and performs a mapped action. Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 lineup also use very similar sensors only for triggering Google Assistant.

Google Assistant on Pixel 2 XL

If you are an iPhone or iPad user, here’s how you can use Google Assistant:

  • First, make sure your device is running on iOS 12 or higher.
  • Download and Install the Google Assistant app from the App Store or click here
  • Next, launch the app, and tap on Inbox in the lower right corner of the app. You will be greeted by a pop-up window, giving you the option to add ‘Ok Google’ to Siri for quick access.
  • Tap ‘Add to Siri’ and record the ‘OK Google’ or ‘Hey Google’ voice command.
  • Finally, you can activate Google Assistant using Siri: “Hey Siri, OK Google”. 

Using Apple’s Siri to activate Google Assistant definitely sounds stupid, but it is the easiest way to access Google Assistant on iOS.

Google Assistant on iPhone X

Using Google Assistant in Google Maps

If you are on a road trip, you can use Google Assistant with Google Maps. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open the Google Maps app on your device. Also, make sure GPS is enabled on your device.
  2. If you want to set a destination, open the search bar or tap it on the map.
  3. In the bottom right, tap Directions, where you can choose one of the following: Driving, transit, walking, rides and cycling. Tap on your preferred one, and then tap Start to start navigating.
  4. In navigation mode, say ‘OK Google’ or tap the Assistant microphone icon to ask questions.
  5. In navigation mode, you can ask Google Assistant: “Gas stations nearby”, “Restaurants nearby”, “Show alternate routes”, “What’s my next turn?”, “Show traffic”, “Hide traffic”, “Avoid tolls”, “How’s traffic ahead?”, “Avoid highways”, “How long until I reach my destination?”, “Help”.

The hands-free voice commands are really useful if you don’t want to look at your phone and focus on the road.

Assistant on Google Maps

Using Google Assistant to Book Hotels and Flights

If you are going for a vacation, you can use Google Assistant to book your hotel and search for flights without breaking a sweat.

  1.  You can start by asking Google Assistant “Hotels in [Location]”. You will see a list of hotels in which you can interact with every one of them.
  2. If you want to book a hotel, activate Google Assistant and say: “Book me a room at [Hotel name] in [Location]”. For reservations, you can say, “Reserve a room at [Hotel name] in [Location] for [Travel dates].”
  3. If you are looking for flights, say “Find me flights to [Location].”, “Find non-stop flights to [Location] on [Airline].”, “What are the flight fares to [Location]?”.
  4. If you want information about your existing flights and check-ins, you can ask Google Assistant, “When is my upcoming flight?”, “Is my flight on time?”. You can also ask “Check in to my flight”, but this feature is only available for a handful of airlines. You also need your flight confirmation in Gmail and use the same Google Account with Gmail and Google Assistant. Plan ahead and find out about parking at the airport
  5. When you arrive at your destination, you can ask Google Assistant for info and tips, like asking “Things to do in [Place]” or “Sightseeing in [Place]”.
Hotel Booking with Google Assistant

Using Google Assistant to Convert Currency and Translate Language

  1. If you are trying to convert currency, you can ask Google Assistant to convert almost all the currencies in the world. For example, you can ask How much is 60 Singapore Dollar in Indian Rupee?”
  2. Asking strangers about something in foreign countries can get weird if you can’t speak or understand their language. If you want to say “Hello” to someone, you can ask Google Assistant “What’s the [Language] word for Hello?” or “How to say ‘how are you’ in French?”, and the assistant will quickly translate it and read it aloud, also tell you how to pronounce it in the Assistant bar.
Translate language and convert currency with Google Assistant

Wrapping Up

Google Assistant’s hands-free voice commands are useful especially when you are driving. Also, Google is continuously working with popular hotel and flight booking services to simplify the experience of planning your travel. And with the release of Google Duplex a couple of months ago, we expect to see further improvements to the system.

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