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Google Assistant now lets you use your voice to interact with your text messages

Why it matters to you

One of the main drawbacks of Google Assistant was long its inability to help you interact with your texts. That all changes today.

You can finally talk to your friends by talking to your phone.

Wait, what?

Yes, you read that correctly. If you have a phone that is compatible with Google Assistant, we have good news for you: The AI assistant can now help you read and interact with your SMS text messages, a feature that users have been requesting since … well, since Google Assistant first made its debut.

MoreEverything you need to know about Google Assistant

You can now employ one of many prompts in order to access your text messages. For example, if you tell Google Assistant to “Show me my messages,” you’ll be greeted by the message interface found in Google Now. If you ask, “Do I have any messages?” you’ll see any new messages you may have received. If you say, “Show me my last message,” you’ll be able to access your most recent conversation.

When you access a message through Assistant, you’ll also have access to a reply button, which will open up a conversation field if tapped. And because Google Assistant uses the SMS client, you can also use your voice to interact with Google Hangouts and Facebook Messenger’s SMS feature. You can have your messages read aloud to you, reply to them, or move on to the next message on the list.

Google is currently in the process of rolling out Assistant to non-Pixel phones, so if you don’t have it yet, you ought to in the near future. 9to5Google reports that the feature works on the latest beta version of the Google app (6.14) but should also work on the latest 6.13 stable.

So if you find your hands tied but needing to keep up on your correspondences, Google Assistant can help you out in a pinch.