INTRO: Google currently lets users adjust volume levels of media, calls & notifications, and alarm on Android. With Android 11, Google Assistants is seemingly working to expand that to virtual assistants.
As spotted by XDA’s Mishaal Rahman, Android 11’s ASCII text file released on AOSP hints at a replacement audio stream for virtual assistants like Google Assistant and Bixby. Once enabled, you’ll be ready to tweak the quantity level of the virtual assistant of your choice. This happens irrespective of other media volume settings.
“New stream type: AUDIO_STREAM_ASSISTANT. This is intended to be employed by a virtual assistant like Google Assistant, Bixby, etc. The audio stream has own volume alias and therefore the volume doesn’t change by volume changes of other streams,” states Google.
As far as the practicality of this feature is concerned, I don’t think I will ever need a slider to control Google Assistant’s volume. With this addition, however, Google Assistant may not get silenced when you’re playing media in other apps. Instead, it’s going to continue providing voice output, say when you’re playing a song or podcast. This behavior, at least in theory, is better than paused media which interrupts the experience.
For now, the precise launch timeline for this feature remains unknown. It is not present in the stable build of Android 11 that Google released for Pixel phones. We will have to wait to see when Google is planning to roll out this feature. It is possible that Google Assistant volume controls might arrive during a Pixel feature drop by the approaching months.