Take advantage of the microphone, the speaker and the detection of the Ok, Google
Any smart speaker has three basic components: microphones, speakers and internet connection. Thanks to this you can communicate with Google Assistant to answer your questions, play music, activate reminders and endless other possibilities. These possibilities are available at a cost, since you will have to purchase the aforementioned smart speaker.
That you don’t want to spend anything because you want to take advantage of what you have at home? Well, an old mobile does exactly the same functions as a Google Nest or Amazon Echo: it has microphones, speakers and can answer your questions just by asking. Of course, there is a counterpart: since a smartphone is not designed to function exclusively as a speaker, It will not have the audio quality of these devices, nor will the microphones be as sensitive..
If you leave the phone connected in a corner of your house, you will already have half the work done. To make it really behave like a smart speaker, do the following steps:
- Put the phone in an area of the house where you are used to being. Next to the TV is a good place, for example.
- Plug it into a nearby outlet: needs constant power.
- Go to the phone settings and disable any type of screen lock. No pattern, no PIN, no fingerprint.
- Enter the Android settings and go to the Google settings menu.
- Go to “Google app settings” and enter “Search, Assistant and Voice”.
- Click on “Google Assistant” and go to “Hey Google and Voice Match”.
- Activate the “Hey Google” and follow the configuration so that the assistant recognizes your voice model (Voice Match).
- Raise the volume of the mobile to a level where you can hear it correctly in the room.
You have everything ready: wherever you put the old phone it will behave like a smart speaker when it hears you say “Ok, Google” or “Hey, Google”. Ask him to play music for you, to tell you when it’s going to rain or to tell you a joke. Your wishes will be orders.
Tips to improve smart speaker functions
- Connect the mobile to an external speaker. If you have any speakers lying around, either wired or Bluetooth, you’ll improve sound reproduction and volume if you connect it to your old phone. You can even use the sound bar.
- Put the phone on a base. The vertical bases improve the appearance of the phone and favor the detection of assistant commands.
- The volume should be between 60 and 80%. Since phone speakers don’t usually have much power, turn up the volume to make sure you hear what the assistant has to say. Always without it becoming unpleasant: above 80% is not recommended.
- Add the accounts of the rest of the family. If you want the mobile to behave like a true smart speaker, incorporate the family’s Google accounts and have each person train their Voice Match. So the phone responses will be personalized.