Shazam has been around for nearly as long as smartphones, letting you identify songs playing in the background at the touch of a button. The problem is, it’s the kind of app we use so infrequently that it feels like there’s always a mad panic to find and open it before a song finishes.

Thankfully, Google Assistant has come to the rescue by introducing song recognition to its skillset. The next time you want to identify a track, you can summon the virtual assistant and say ‘what song is this?’ or ‘what song is playing’ and it’ll show you the artist and song title along with its lyrics and links to open it on YouTube, Spotify and Google Play Music. Like Shazam, Google Assistant should have no trouble picking out tracks that are playing in the background. Just be prepared to be mocked by your friends when you publicly draw attention to your embarrassing music taste.

If you have an Android phone running Marshmallow (6.0) onwards, you should already have Google Assistant. Just say “Ok Google” or press and hold the home button to check for yourself. To make sure it’s turned on, open the Google app’s Settings and under Google Assistant tap Settings and ‘Turn on’. iPhone users can also get a piece of the action by installing the new Google Assistant app, although you can’t summon it with a simple voice command. According to reports, the song-recognition skill is currently being rolled out, so if you haven’t got it yet, try again in a few days.

One area where Google Assistant doesn’t have you covered is identifying a track that’s stuck in your head rather than playing in the background. For this, SoundHound has got your back. Sing or hum any track and it’ll do it’s best to identify it for you. Maybe wait till you get home, though.



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