Siri, Bixby, Google Assistant and Alexa - it's safe to say that smart assistants are fully integrated into our everyday lives. You can find them built into a huge range of devices, from the latest smartphones and tablets to smart speakers like Amazon's Echo Dot and Google's Home Mini.
Designed to make those day-to-day tasks easier, just about anyone will find the help of a smart assistant useful. If you're studying, whether it's for school, university or any kind of test for that matter, smart assistants can also be a great tool to enhance your learning. Discover some of the things your smart assistant can help you do below.
Translate in seconds
Translate with Google and Google Lens
If it's a foreign language you're trying to study, Google Assistant has a full arsenal of tools to help you learn quickly. As long as your phone is compatible, you'll have access to the innovative Google Lens.
Powered by AI and image recognition technology, if you launch Google Lens, you'll be able to translate other languages in books, on signs or even when you're out and about. It's ideal if you're trying to translate text for your studies, and can be useful whenever you're in a different country.
You can also create a digital copy of the text you're reading in a book, journal or anywhere else with Google Lens. Want to use Google Lens outside of Google Assistant? You can, through the dedicated Google Lens app - it's available on the Google Play Store for Android users.
Translate with Siri, Alexa and Bixby
As for Apple users, Siri can also act as your own personal translator for over 30 languages. Just say "Hey Siri" followed by "How do I say" and the phrase you want to know, and what language you want to know it in, and Siri will reply - you'll be able to hear the translation and see it on screen.
Alexa can do the same for an impressive 37 languages if you download the Translated skill, and with Bixby Vision you can use your smartphone's camera to scan text and translate in seconds - just say: "Hi Bixby, scan this text and translate".
Can't remember what happened on a particular day in the past? Chat to Alexa, and utilise the "This Day in History" skill, designed by The History Channel.
All you have to do is say "Alexa, ask This Day in History what happened on February 4th" for example, and Alexa will get to work. Interested in a particular event and want to know more? Say "hear more about this event" to go into more detail.
A go-to study partner
It's always handy to have someone to study with - not only can talking out loud to another person make revision more effective, it makes things much more fun too. But sometimes you'll need to knuckle down when no one’s around, and that's where Google Assistant - and a handy action known as Sow Study Aid - comes in.
If you use Quizlet to revise (a mobile and web application that helps you create digital flashcards), you can use Google Assistant and Sow Study Aid to help you run through each flashcard. It'll put your knowledge to the test by asking questions and quizzing you, and you can run through an entire deck of notes with your voice. You can ask for hints if you're stuck too, or go back to a question you didn't get correct.
Open Google Assistant on your smartphone, click Explore, search for Sow Study Aid under Education and tap 'Try It' to get started. Once everything has downloaded, ask Google Assistant to "Talk to Sow Study Aid" and follow the prompts to choose your preferred study deck.
Set study-focused timers and reminders
No matter which smart assistant you use, you'll be able to keep yourself organised with study-focused timers and reminders. Activating Siri or Alexa with your voice, for example, means you won't have to interrupt your studying to do it manually (just make sure if you're using Siri, you have the "Hey Siri" slider turned on) - keeping you far away from distractions like Instagram and Facebook which you might be tempted by when you unlock your device.
Here's how to set a timer on each smart assistant, so you can keep focused and ensure you take breaks at the right moment. The processes are all fairly similar, you just need to know the right words to activate each assistant.
- Say "Hey Siri"
- Follow up with "Set timer for 50 minutes" and Siri will confirm that your timer has been set up, and the countdown to your next study break will begin.
- Make sure your device with Alexa is awake.
- Simply say "Set timer for 55 minutes" or however long you want to concentrate for.
Remember, you can name your timers too - handy if you need to want to split your overall study session in sections. For example, you could set an overall timer like above, then set further timers by saying things such as "Alexa, set trigonometry timer for 25 minutes".
- Super easy, set a timer by saying "OK Google".
- Then, say "Set timer for X minutes" - choose the amount of time you need and fill in the blanks accordingly.
- Launch Bixby with the words "Hi Bixby"
- Continue by asking Bixby to "Set a timer for 25 minutes".
Reminders can be useful for studying too - especially when something pops into your head. Swap out the commands for "Create a new reminder" on Alexa and "Remind me to…" with Siri, Google Assistant and Bixby.
You can ask all smart assistants to run through your reminders too, so you never forget what’s on your list.