Jim’s WebLetter for 3/24/18


If you have an Android phone, and the vast majority of people do, then you have the services of Google Assistant already baked into your device. (You iPhone people have Siri, but I’m a Samsung Galaxy S8+ user so I’m talking to the Google people now). I use Assistant on a regular basis for all sorts of things … from finding out what the current temperature is before I step outside, to keeping reminders and setting events in my calendar and even creating shopping lists.

Now that I’m retired, I do most all the shopping for us and am in need of shopping lists to help me remember what I’m buying at the store whenever I go. Instead of making lists on a piece of paper that I carry around with me everywhere, I use my phone’s Assistant to build and keep my shopping list.


Here’s the process … when creating the list, I just say “OK Google, add (name of item) to my shopping list”. Assistant’s voice says, “OK, adding (name of item) to your shopping list”. Then I repeat that process whenever I have another item to add. Once I get to the store and grab a cart, I say, “OK Google, show me my shopping list”, and up pops my list with little boxes beside each item. When finding each and putting it in the cart, I simply touch the box beside it on my screen and it disappears from the list. No more paper and (if I remember) a pencil or pen to cross off the items. Assistant handles that for me.

If I need to research an item, I just say “OK Google, tell me about (name of item)”, and Assistant brings up information and often reads it to me. Then I make my decision and add it to my cart, then tell Assistant to bring up my shopping list and eliminate the item from it.

Because Google Assistant has a version for IOS devices like iPhone and my iPad, I have it on my tablet too so if I need to add something to the list, I can also use the I-version of the app. Same list from the same Assistant. Handy when I’m reading or researching something and deciding I need to purchase it next time I’m out shopping.

If your Android phone doesn’t have Assistant activated, just open the Google App in your list of phone apps. Then at the bottom right, tap Menu Settings, then tap Voice, Voice Match and follow the instructions. (Assistant wants to know what you sound like so it can answer you when you speak to it). You can also hold down the Home button at the bottom center of your phone until a white background appears.

Assistant also comes with the option of a male voice as well as a female voice. I selected Voice 2, the male voice because “he” sounds like a guy who is energetic and wants to help. To make changes like that, all you have to do is ask for it and Assistant will show and tell you how to make the change from the female voice to male voice.

Google Assistant also opens apps, turns on the phone’s flash light (great to use when exiting movie theater seating), and looks up answers to your questions. All you have to do is say, “OK Google” or hold down the Home screen button.

I think if you’ll just try using it, you’ll agree … this is the way to go! Everybody needs assistance at some time and Google’s Assistant certainly helps when you need it, uh her, I mean “him”. Seems the more you use him, the more you think of it as a him. Now if we can just give Assistant a name … yea! “Hey Jason, what’s the weather forecast today?” 😉

That’s it this week … oh, yea … after my last post, I saw a spike in the number of people visiting my YouTube channel. I have added more music videos to the lists since. Ever get a song stuck in your head after hearing it? Yea, this week I found the song “Never Ending Story” from the popular movie that came out in the 70’s. Just one listen and I remembered playing that song in the air about a hundred times. To visit my YouTube channel, just go to http://www.JimOnline.com.

See ya …