How to enable Google Assistant quick phrases on your Pixel phone to save time

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A woman setting up a Google Pixel 6A phone for a child.


I use Google Assistant quite a bit on my Pixel phones. Being able to take care of certain tasks without having to type on that tiny keyboard makes my life considerably more efficient. 

But wouldn’t it be even better if one could make Google Assistant a bit more efficient?

Well, Google and its bevy of Android developers thought of that very thing. 

Usually, when you want to do something with Google Assistant, you start by saying, “OK, Google,” or “Hey, Google.” But there’s more to it than that. 

If you have one of the newer Pixel phones (Pixel 6 or newer), the Google Assistant app has a not-so-obvious feature called “Quick phrases” that simplifies the interactions you have for things like alarms, timers, and incoming calls. 

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Think about it this way: When you have a timer or alarm going off, you could either fumble for the phone and tap the stop button. Or, you could say something like, “Hey, Google, cancel alarm.” 

What if you could simply say, “Stop,” when that alarm is going off? Thanks to quick phrases, you can. With this feature enabled, stopping an alarm is as simple as saying, “Stop,” and snoozing an alarm is as easy as saying, “Snooze.” As for phone calls, when this feature is enabled, you can answer an incoming call by saying, “Answer,” decline an incoming call by saying, “Decline,” and silence your ringer by saying, “Silence.”

It really is that simple. 

But how do you enable these features? Well, thanks to Google Assistant, it’s pretty easy. Let me show you how. 

How to enable Google Assistant quick phrases on your Pixel phone to save time


The only thing you’ll need is a Pixel phone running at least Version 10 of Android. That’s it, let’s make some magic.

The first thing you need to do is access the settings for Google Assistant. It should come as no surprise that you can do this with the help of Google Assistant. For this, say, “Hey, Google, Assistant settings.”

In the resulting window, you should see two ON/OFF toggles, one for alarms and timers, and one for incoming calls. Chances are pretty good that the “Quick phrases” option for alarms and timers is already enabled. If so, leave it as such. 

For incoming calls, tap the ON/OFF slider to the ON position. Once you’ve done that, you can back out of the Google Assistant settings window and start using quick phrases.

The Google Assistant settings window.

Enabling Quick phrases for both Alarms and timers, and Incoming calls.

Image: Jack Wallen

A bit of a caveat

There is, of course, a caveat to this. If you don’t know your phone is ringing (say you have it on mute), and you say, “Answer,” at the same time, you could answer a call you didn’t want to take. Because of this, you’ll want to use caution in what you say around your Pixel phone when a call is coming in. The other issue is that someone else could answer your phone for you or decline a call for you by saying those commands. Because of that, you’ll want to consider your surroundings and the people you’re frequently with when you receive calls.

Other than that, Google’s quick phrases can really help make your Pixel life a bit more efficient. Give quick phrases a try and see if the feature doesn’t help make your life slightly easier.

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