Google Assistant can now speak to you in a male voice dubbed ‘Voice II’
You may have not given this a lot of thought, but while Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon insist they always try to keep things fresh, original and innovative, their respective virtual assistants are very similar in one simple yet important way.
You could say they’re outright identical in how they prioritize female voices over their male counterparts. Alexa, Cortana and Siri even have feminine names, with masculine voice options being either little known to the general public or absent altogether.
Google Assistant isn’t any different in essence, despite the most neutral-sounding branding possible, although at least the search giant avoided baptizing its one and only introductory voice option Stephanie, Catherine or Sarah.
A full year after its limited Allo release, Google Assistant finally gets a “Voice II” alternative for the default “Voice I” setting today. It’s unclear if this was supposed to roll out following an announcement alongside the Pixel 2, 2 XL, Pixelbook and Google Home Mini, but either way, it’s not something to get too excited about.
Both on supported phones and the first-gen Home speaker, Voice II feels as cold and robotic as Voice I. It’s definitely masculine, just not very friendly or personal. You can check to see if the backup is available in your Assistant or Google Home app preferences, and if not, maybe try to update to a new version.