Last year, Google introduced integrations with WhatsApp that would let you start an audio or video call on the app via Assistant. While the feature is now widely available, the actual commands you need to use to utilize it are a little less than intuitive. You need to phrase things just so in order for Assistant to understand you actually want to use WhatsApp to make a call, which is mildly annoying. Fortunately, we've got a quick and easy guide to get you fluent in Google Assistant speak.

In its announcement, Google said you should ask "Hey Google, WhatsApp video John." When you try that, Assistant decides to play videos on YouTube. Perfect! Instead, you should use these different commands:

  • Video call:
    • Hey Google, make a WhatsApp video call to [contact-name]
    • Hey Google, video call [contact-name] on WhatsApp
  • Audio call:
    • Hey Google, make a WhatsApp call to [contact-name]
    • Hey Google, call [contact-name] on WhatsApp

 

Left: Google's original command confuses Assistant. Right: "Make a WhatsApp video/call" works.

If you don't specify "WhatsApp" in your command, Google's Duo integration takes over and the audio or video call is routed through Duo, so make sure you get the command right.

 

Left: "Video/call on WhatsApp" also works. Right: If you don't specify "on WhatsApp" you get Duo.

To make things faster, you should add a nickname to your most frequently called contacts. That way Google won't be confused if you have two Johns in your address book, or if your husband is called Marcel and your mother-in-law Marcelle. #truestory

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  • Thanks:
  • Samarth Verma