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Forget Alexa: Google Assistant just got this killer feature

Google Assistant
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google Assistant is upping the ante to compete with devices like the new HomePod mini and new Amazon Echo. You know that tune you can't get out of your head but also can't name? Now when you hum it aloud, Google Assistant will put a name to that earworm.

Instead of la-di-da-ing and dum-di-dum-ing to someone who can't figure out if you're carrying an actual melody or making it up, ask Google to identify it for you. Either in the Google app on your smartphone or with Google Assistant, say, "What's this song?" and start humming for 10-15 seconds. You can also whistle or sing some of the lyrics, if you know them.

This is one of the best Google Assistant commands because it's basically Shazam, but better. The Shazam app can tell you the name of a song that's playing over the radio or in a restaurant or a waiting room, but is less useful when it comes to finding a song you sort of know. 

Google's machine learning algorithm can identify potential song matches, even when you don't have perfect pitch. Of course, the better you carry the tune the better chance Google has at knowing it, but it couldn't hurt to give the new feature a shot if then nameless song on repeat in your brain is driving you mad.

This feature is currently available in English on iOS, and in more than 20 languages on Android. It is not available on Google Home speakers like the Google Nest Audio or Google Nest Hub Max, though. That said, we've seen mobile-only Google Assistant skills make their way to smart speakers. 

"What's this song?" is the latest in a long string of new Google Assistant features that have arrived in recent weeks. With Apple hoping to make Siri more of household name with its $99 HomePod mini speaker, Alexa isn't Google's only worthy opponent in the smart home arena anymore.