TECH

Google’s new Guest Mode is like incognito mode for Google Assistant


Google this week announced a new Guest Mode for its virtual assistant that’s designed with privacy-conscious folks in mind. A simple “Hey Google, turn on Guest Mode” will ensure that none of your interactions with Google Assistant are collected by the company and nor will they be used to ‘personalize your experience’ — often an indirect way of referring to targeted ads.

When it’s on, the Assistant will play a special chime to let you know. Smart displays with Assistant will also show a guest icon on the screen. And you can always check for yourself by saying, “Hey Google, is Guest Mode on?”

Even with Guest Mode on, you can still do most of the things you’d want to use Assistant for, like listening to music, asking questions, or controlling your smart devices. Commands that require access to your personal information, like accessing the calendar or your contacts, however, will be unavailable until you turn Guest Mode off. To do so, just say, “Hey Google, turn off Guest Mode.”

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The company is launching the feature on its Nest smart speakers and displays first, and it’s only available in English for the time being. Support for more languages and devices will roll out in the coming months.

You can learn more about the feature by either saying, “Hey Google, tell me about Guest Mode,” or going to the company’s privacy page for Assistant here.

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