Use Google Assistant on Your New Pixel 2 to Take a Hands-Free Thanksgiving Family Photo

Patrick Lucas Austin 11/25/2017. 7 comments
Google Google Pixel 2 Photography Selfies

With family descending upon your home for the holidays, you’ll probably be asked to take a group photo or two. If you’ve got the Google Pixel 2 (or 2 XL), you can use it to snap pictures using only your voice. No longer do you have to rush into frame, or assign the role of photographer to your weird uncle’s new girlfriend.

Create an Always-On Google Assistant

First you’ll need to make some slight modifications to your Google Assistant, and configure it to respond anytime you say “Ok, Google.” You’ll also need to designate Google Assistant as your default assistant to make this work.

Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Default Apps > Assist & voice input. There, hit the settings icon next to the Assist app section. Hit “OK Google” detection, and toggle on the “Say ‘OK Google’ any time” option. Your Pixel 2 will then have an always-on Google Assistant, ready to snap a photo at any moment.

To keep obnoxious kids from telling your voice assistant to kick rocks, toggle on the Trusted Voice option to ensure your smartphone only unlocks when it hears your dulcet tones. You can retrain your smartphone to respond to your voice by hitting “Retrain voice model” at the bottom of the page.

What to Say to Snap a Picture

Turns out, Google only responds to a select few phrases if you want to get it to take your photo. Of course, you’ll need to open with a “Hey, Google” or “OK, Google” to bring up the Google Assistant.

From there, saying “take a selfie” will activate the front-facing camera, and give you a three-second countdown before it snaps your photo. “Take a photo” will use the rear-facing camera.

You can edit the countdown by asking it to take a photo in however many seconds you need (you’ve got 30 seconds max), so you can get into position. Unfortunately, you can’t configure it to snap portrait mode photos automatically.

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