Smart speakers are very popular today on the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant spectrum. Amazon is selling Alexa voice assistant smart speakers like hotcakes, and Google Assistant-powered speakers are flying off the shelves almost quickly. But what if you don’t want to spend money on smart speakers? Is there any way to turn my old Android phone or tablet into a smart speaker?
The answer is yes! If you have an older Android smartphone you want to use, you can easily turn it into your own Google Assistant Smart Display, but it takes a lot more work. If it still does the job, follow below and we’ll show you the best way to handle it.
There are several requirements to be aware of. The first is that older Android phones must run at least Android Lollipop. This will at least get you support for the Google Assistant and the “OK, Google” hotword.
Next, you need to make sure that all the essential apps you want to use are downloaded on your Android phone. You need to make sure you have downloaded a music streaming app like Spotify or Apple Music.
You can download other apps on your phone to use different parts of Google Assistant features like Netflix, Google Maps, Google Photos, Google Calendar, Google Keep, etc. This allows you to do things like “Ok, Google, what’s on my calendar?” or “OK, Google, take a note.”
Settings for Smart Google Assistant
Now you can actually start setting up. Your best bet is to connect your smartphone, now Google Assistant display, to the speaker system of your choice. High-quality speakers are your best bet, especially when dealing with music apps, as the audio quality increases.
The downside is that you have to make sure the speaker is constantly plugged in to stay charged. You should do the same with your old Android smartphone.
So the first step is to connect the speaker and Google Assistant phone using a 3.5mm audio cable. Alternatively, you can choose to simply connect via Bluetooth. Whichever method you choose, you need to make sure your speakers are getting power. Otherwise, it will eventually not work properly when you run out of juice. Again, you need to ensure that your smartphone is also constantly powered.
After that you have to go! Just use “OK Google” popular action and you can roll up right away.
The problem in Using Google Assistant
Now I have a small problem when it starts to get into phones that don’t have a 3.5mm audio jack or port. In other words, all you need is a USB-C port. In this case, you can either connect via Bluetooth only or use a USB-C adapter hub to connect a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable to the phone and charge the phone at the same time . The choice is up to you, but the latter obviously gives you a lot more cables to mess with.
Microphone setup really happens in this setup. It is not necessary to activate “OK, Google” in every room, as the smartphone microphone is designed for near branch activation.
An external microphone can be used to solve the problem. But at this point, it’s much cheaper to buy a small form factor smart speaker than to continue investing in this setup. Not only that, you need more dongles.
As you can see, turning your old Android smartphone or tablet into a Google Assistant smart speaker is a very easy task. However, it may not be the most functional due to the hardware limitations of the phone or tablet itself. It’s still possible and can be a cheap solution if you already have all the hardware.