Many of us were happy to see the recent addition of a keyboard input method in Assistant and the setting to choose it as a preferred method. After all, many of us don't like to shout at our phones all the time because we either need some privacy, we're often in public, or we may simply not feel comfortable talking to an inanimate object.

But what if the keyboard is your preferred input method and there's that one time where you would rather use voice instead? Maybe your hands are wet or dirty, maybe you're carrying something with your other hand and you can't easily type your request with just one, or I don't know... the scenarios are multiple and diverse between people. In that case:

  • you either tap the microphone icon in the bottom right to switch to voice input
  • or, as discovered by our tipster, you can re-trigger Assistant.

Yes, that does seem to be an inception-like moment: "trigger Assistant while in Assistant" is the kind of sentence that I never thought I'd be typing, but it does work. You simply tap-and-hold the home button again while Assistant is open, and instead of Google launching another instance of Assistant (which I would have expected to happen), it switches the input method from keyboard to voice. Now this may be a bug or it may be a feature, I don't know, but it can come in handy if your fingers are dirty and/or wet and you'd rather not soil your display.

The switch is only momentary — your preferred method remains the keyboard — so this helps for those single occurrences when you need voice search instead. And it's worth mentioning that the opposite isn't true: if your preferred input is voice and you trigger Assistant while in Assistant, you still get voice. So you can't use this trick to quickly switch from voice to keyboard input.

  • Thanks:
  • Dave