Do you trade more voice messages than texts with your contacts? You may appreciate the ability to do that with the help of Google Assistant as it gains dedicated command branches for sending clips. That means you can even do it hands-free while driving!

Just prompt Assistant by saying "OK Google," or tap the right button, then say "send an audio message to [contact]." You can then record your message — Assistant is quick to put on the brakes, so form a complete thought before saying it out loud or risk having to do another take — and then send it. You can also say "OK Google, send an audio message to Jules saying 'Where are you?'" and the Assistant will be smart enough to cut out that segment to send.

WhatsApp has had an Assistant Action allows users to do exactly that for years, but having Assistant being able to handle that audio messages for both MMS and RCS on Google Messages as well as WhatsApp — say "send a WhatsApp audio message" — is great.

There are a couple of points where this feature underperforms in our testing: messages can be truncated by a second or two even though they can be played in full from the sender's side, and; this Google Assistant Help page indicates that a transcript will be sent along with the voice message and we've found no such thing to occur. We also had a cheeky try at sending an audio message to a Telegram correspondent, but alas, the support just isn't there at the moment. But hey, the sky's the limit here.

Assistant is able to handle audio messages in English-speaking countries and in Brazil with Portuguese.