Google Assistant has expanded to a lot of devices this year, and that means there’s probably lots of devices you own that are always listening for the “OK Google” hotword. When the Google Home landed, Google added “Hey Google”, which had the side effect of helping avoid setting off other devices. Now, it appears that Google could be bringing that hotword to smartphones.

An APK teardown of the Google app ripped from the Pixel 2 by XDA-Developers reveals that Google could be bringing that command to Android devices in the near future. Version, found on the company’s new Pixels, contains a selection of strings that point to this command coming soon.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of this change because “Hey Google” feels like a much more natural phrase than “OK Google” (it’s fewer syllables, for one). It’s unclear if this will affect recognition at all, but it seems to work fine on Google Home and other Assistant-powered speakers.

Obviously, this functionality isn’t live just yet. This version of the Google app is only available on the new Pixel phones which haven’t been released yet, so it may debut come later this week when the phone actually starts shipping to customers. Or this could simply be early evidence for a feature that’s not coming for quite some time. We’re not sure at this point.

<string name=”hotword_enrollment_summary_text_screen_assistant_device”>Your Assistant can now recognize your voice when you say \”%1$s\” or \”%2$s\”.</string>

<string name=”hotword_enrollment_summary_usage_example_first”>”Ok Google, what’s my name?”</string>

<string name=”hotword_enrollment_summary_usage_example_second”>”Hey Google, what’s the traffic to work?”</string>

<string name=”hotword_enrollment_summary_usage_example_third”>Ok Google, tell me about my day.</string>

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Ben Schoon

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