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You can now teach Google Assistant how to pronounce your name correctly

Josiah is very thankful for this feature.

google assistant new feature
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One of the big stumbling blocks for voice-first platforms like Google Assistant has always been the pronunciation of names. Let’s face it; unless your name is pretty common, voice assistants tend to have trouble recognizing or saying it, and that problem gets worse if you have a name that doesn’t sound like it looks on paper.

Now, Google is trying to fix that, with a new Google Assistant feature that lets you train the Assistant by saying your name out loud.

The pronunciation update is rolling out right now, and will add itself to Settings > Basic Info > Nickname when your device has it. Look for “Name pronunciation” and tap on “Record your own” if your Assistant is consistently missing your name, or that of your contacts.

Once you’ve recorded how it’s said, Assistant should be able to recognize it going forward. You can also add more context by spelling out how the name sounds alongside the recorded version.

Google is also improving how the Assistant handles timers, with changes like being able to ask the Assistant to “cancel my second timer,” or canceling named timers without needing the exact name you set them up with. It’ll also know how to extend existing timers, instead of setting up a new timer for in the future, as it often does now.

Oh, and who hasn’t floundered over their phrasing when asking the Assistant to do something? Now it’ll handle that more gracefully, with more natural conversation processing that should reduce the number of times you have to repeat yourself. Nifty.

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