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OK, Google: 160 valuable voice commands for Android

JR Raphael | July 14, 2016
This diverse collection of voice commands will turn your phone into a powerful personal concierge -- no tipping required.

Android has actually had a robust voice command system in place for ages -- and the number of things it can do for you is expanding all the time.

In fact, Google may be preparing to unveil a newly rebranded and even more conversational version of its virtual assistant later this year, but you don't have to wait to start making the most of your mobile device's listening smarts.

Below, we've listed 160 commands that are fully functional and ready to be used right now. We've put words and phrases that are examples in [brackets]; additional explanations are in (parentheses). And when you see a command with two words separated by a slash (e.g., "Enable/disable battery saver mode"), you know to say just one or the other of the words, right? Thought so.

In many cases, Android is smart enough to recognize word variations; so, for example, it’ll respond whether you say “Turn Wi-Fi on,” “Turn on Wi-Fi” or “Enable Wi-Fi.” That’s not true in every case – for instance, it doesn’t (currently) know that “Pump up the volume” means “Turn up the volume” – but its vocabulary is growing all the time. It’s fun to experiment and see what works.

But before you start talking, a note: For a fully hands-free experience, you'll need to set up always-listening voice control, which will allow your phone to wake up and start listening anytime you say "OK, Google." To do that, open the Google app on your device, tap the menu icon in the upper-left corner and tap Settings. Next, tap Voice and then "OK Google" Detection. Follow the steps there to enable the system and train it to recognize your voice.

If you have an older device that doesn't support that option, you can still use the commands listed below; you'll just have to tap the microphone icon on your home screen first to start the listening process.

So what are you waiting for? Clear your throat and call your phone into action without having to lift a finger.

Device control and tools

  • Turn Wi-Fi on/off
  • Turn Bluetooth on/off
  • Turn my flashlight on/off
  • Turn airplane mode on/off
  • Turn up/down the volume
  • Dim/brighten the screen
  • Enable/disable [battery saver mode] (and other system features, such as mute)
  • Take a photo/selfie
  • Record a video
  • Set a timer for [10 minutes]
  • Open [Yelp] (or any app)
  • Open [computerworld.com] (or any website)
  • Metronome
  • Bubble level
  • Flip a coin
  • Roll a die
  • Start a run (requires a fitness app like Strava, Runkeeper, Runtastic or Endomondo)

Time, weather and current information

  • What time is it in [Paris]?
  • What time zone is [Phoenix] in?
  • When is the sunset tonight?
  • When's the sunrise in [London]?
  • Do I need an umbrella today?
  • Is it going to rain this weekend?
  • When is it going to rain next?
  • What's the weather in [Kalamazoo]?
  • Will I need a jacket tomorrow?
  • How hot is it gonna be on [Saturday]?
  • When's the next [Cubs] game?
  • What was the score of the [Cardinals] game last night?
  • Did the [Marlins] win their last game?
  • What's [Google] stock trading at today? (or just spell out a stock ticker symbol -- e.g., "G-O-O-G")

 

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