I've just upgraded my phone to the new Google Pixel phone. I'm upgrading from the Google Note 2, so it's a little over a 4 year jump in technology for me. The phone is really fast compared to my Note 2.

I've been excited about the Google Assistant coming with the new Pixel phone and so I've been trying to ask it anything I can think of. There are some really cool things that it can do, but in this post I'll list all of the requests I've tried that have failed or resulted in a web search. In general, when Google Assistant can't do something, it responds with the first search result.

Music

  1. Play a specific playlist from Spotify
  • "Okay Google, play my Starred playlist" opened up the Google Play music app instead of the default of Spotify when I request a specific artist or song.
  • Add the currently playing song to a playlist

    • "Okay Google, add this song to my Starred playlist" - brings up a search result. I've tried doing this with the context of having the Spotify app open as well and no difference.
  • Identify music

    • "Okay Google, who sings this song" - results in Google Assistant responding with "I can't identify songs yet" so hopefully this feature is in the works. A work around is that you can swipe left from the home screen and click the blue "music note" symbol and the old Google search will identify the song for you.
    • Interestingly, even if there is music currently playing on your device (Spotify) Google Assistant will still refuse to identify the artist.

Sports

  1. Request specific details from a recent sports event.
  • "Okay Google, show me the box score from the last Warriors game" returned the score of the game with no way to get to the box score.

  • Following up with "how many points did Steph Curry score" returned a web search result. I was thinking Google Assistant would have picked up on the context of having searched for the Warriors game and let me know how many points Curry scored in that game. No such luck.

  1. Report on current sports trivia
  • "Okay Google, when was the last time the Warriors lost" - search result.

System Status

  1. Report on the current battery status
  • "Okay Google, how much battery life do I have left" resulted in a web search.
  • Report on the amount of data that has been used.

    • "Okay Google, how much data have I used this month" - results in a search.
  • Turn off the display

    • "Okay Google, turn off my display" always brings up a search result about how to turn off the display of a windows laptop.

Alarms and Timers

  1. Turn off an alarm or timer
  • "Okay Google, turn off the timer/alarm/whatever" - no response.

It's nice to be able to set a timer with Google Assistant, but when that timer starts ringing, it's impossible to shut it off with your voice. In fact it seems like it's impossible to bring up Google Assistant while an alarm or timer is sounding.

Calls and Messages

  1. Read recent text messages.
  • "Okay Google, read me my most recent text message" results in Google Assistant responding "I can't read text messages yet" so there's hope that it will add this functionality soon.

  • Identify recent callers

    • "Okay Google, who was the last person to call me" - results in a search.