• Patrick Jordan

Pixel 6 Phones' Secret Weapon

Image Via: https://store.google.com/product/pixel_6_pro?hl=en-US

Secret / Not Secret

The "secret" I'll talk about here is not a secret, apologies. It's a feature of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones that has been (heavily) touted by Google themselves since before they went on sale - like so:

Google Tensor puts state-of-the-art speech recognition and language translation in your pocket. And because these algorithms run on-device rather than through a network and server, they work fast – no internet connection required.
Still ...

I feel like this feature does not get enough love or mentions. After almost a year of continuous use of the Pixel 6 Pro, I can honestly say that voice typing via Google Assistant is glorious.

It's not a little faster than Gboard (or any other virtual keyboard) used to be. It's not a lot faster either. It is night and day faster, lightyears faster. For any of us who use our phones for note taking on a daily - or more like multiple times per day - basis, this saves a ton of time and effort.

And it's not just the speed that has improved this much; the accuracy has too, and so has the range of things we can do to keep our flow while using it. Here's just some of what voice typing with Assistant can do in this area:

  1. Say a command. For example:

  • To delete the last word: Say "Delete last word."

  • To delete the last sentence: Say "Clear."

  • To clear the text: Say "Clear all."

  • To send a message: Say "Send."

  • To fill out the next open field in a form: Say "Next."

  • To add an emoji: Say the name of the emoji, like "Smiley emoji."

  • To stop voice typing: Say "Stop."

I find even just using the "Stop" command consistently makes me happy.

Here's another thing that makes all of this great, straight from Google's feature description above:

these algorithms run on-device rather than through a network and server

So no concern with what we type being sent to "the cloud."

And ...

If you have Gboard set as the default keyboard, then all of this works across the apps and places that support the virtual keyboard, which is just about everywhere.

There's a lot that I love about using the Pixel 6 Pro, and voice typing with Assistant is at or near the top of the list of reasons why.

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After just shy of a year using Google's Pixel 6 Pro, I'm just as convinced that it is Google's best phone yet as I was in the first few week