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Google Assistant joins Alexa on Xbox One in new Microsoft update

Microsoft has dropped a new update for the Xbox One series of consoles, which brings Google Assistant voice controls and a number of other improvements.

Following a period in beta this autumn, Microsoft is now ready to release the Google Assistant controls to the public, making it possible to control the consoles from any Google Assistant-enabled smart speaker, or the iOS and Android app.

Using the “Hey Google” voice command, gamers will be able to turn their console on and off, launch apps and games once the console is activated, or to play and pause video content.

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Microsoft says the functionality can be easily set-up with the Google Home app for Android and iOS. Here are the instructions from the Xbox support site:

  1. Sign in to your Xbox.
  2. In the Google Home app for iOS or Android:
    b. Tap + Add.
    c. Tap Set up device.
    d. Tap Have something already set up?
    Search for Xbox.
  3. Select Xbox and sign in with the Microsoft account you use on Xbox.
  4. Follow the instructions to pair your Xbox with your Google Assistant device and provide your Xbox device name.

The addition of the Google Assistant follows the launch of the Alexa Skill for the Xbox console, giving users plenty of choice over which voice assistant they control their console with.

In addition to the Google Assistant, today’s update also brings the promised revamps to gamertags with 13 new alphabets, the new Xbox text filters announced last month, and improvements to the viewing experience on Mixer.

Microsoft is also simplifying the settings menus. It says the “menu has been condensed and reorganised, with commonly used settings elevated to the top to improve navigation and discoverability for everyone.”

However, the headline feature is Google Assistant. Here are some phrases you can try:

  • “Hey Google, play Fortnite on Xbox”
  • “Hey Google, turn off Xbox”
  • “Hey Google, turn on Xbox”
  • “Hey Google, pause Xbox”
  • “Hey Google, resume on Xbox”
  • “Hey Google, volume up on Xbox”
  • “Hey Google, volume down 5 on Xbox”
  • “Hey Google, launch YouTube on Xbox”
  • “Hey Google, mute Xbox”
  • “Hey Google, record that on Xbox”
  • “Hey Google, take a screenshot on Xbox”
  • “Hey Google, change the channel to [channel name] on Xbox” (if live TV is configured)

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