Google Pixel Buds Pro 04

While testing the Gemini app last week, my use of Google Assistant through the Pixel Buds Pro has increased dramatically, and I really like the balance.

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If I wasn’t actively testing the Gemini, Google Assistant would definitely be standard in my daily driver. It’s ready for those who want a Gemini-specific mobile interface, but first I need a smart assistant that can quickly control my phone via voice commands.

My solution is accessing the Assistant via the Pixel Buds Pro. My top commands are playing music and podcasts – which is absolutely wild that the Gemini can’t do that when it’s on – as well as smart home controls.

The touch and hold gesture to launch the assistant is quite underrated, so tactile and immediately felt. I had fun too to rediscover What is possible in headphones:

  • Traffic: How is the traffic on the way to work?
  • Food: Are there any coffee shops nearby?
  • Navigation: Take me here [airport name].
  • Reminders: Please note that the door code is 1234.
  • Timers: Set the timer for 30 minutes.
  • Shopping lists: Add coffee to my shopping list.
  • Schedule: When is my next appointment?

Even my two smartwatches (despite always wearing long sleeves) made me ask for the weather and time, even though I had many other ways to access it.

At the same time, device management commands include:

  • How long is the battery in my headphones?
  • Turn on/off touch controls.
  • Increase/decrease volume: Or say louder/quieter while the voice is already playing

However, I still can’t bring myself to send texts by voice (even in the privacy of my home) with accuracy.

We reported that Gemini is coming to Google Assistant headphones, which may be the first form factor expansion. It’s a better target than smart speakers because you have your phone to fall back on if something goes wrong.

I’m wondering how to optimize the twins for the audio-only form factor. Will Google make sure that verbal responses are not as verbose and shorter? Regardless, I’m hoping that the Gemini headphones have more features than the original release of the phone, even if not quite.

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