Most Android users are probably familiar with Google’s smart personal assistant Google Now. At least since the Android 4.4 KitKatnew commands update which integrated it profoundly into the user interface. One cool feature that came with KitKat are the many new voice commands together with the ability to trigger them by simply saying “Okay Google“. Google also works constantly on new commands to make Google Now an even more helpful tool.
70+ useful and funny Google Now voice commands (Okay Google …)
Google Now has become a big part of the Android experience and will probably be even more prominent in future updates. For that reason, it’s about time to get familiar with all the possibilities Google Now has to offer.
Before we get into all the possibe commands, you should know that you can access all your recorded ‘Okay Google” voice commands in your Google account’s audio history. While you’re playing around with new voice commands, your audio history will show the new voice snippets seconds after your phone’s Google Now gave you an answer.
How to get the Okay Google commands working
Obviously, your phone can’t perform any of the commands below as long as Google Now. To turn on the ‘Okay Google’ voice detection, go to your Settings > Google > Search & Now > Voice > “Okay Google detection”. You can also access those settings from your Google Now interface. Just swipe from the left side to bring in the menu and select Settings.
Now, make sure “From the Google app” is enabled. This enables you to use voice commands from your home screen. Note that you need to use the Google Now launcher. You can also enable “Always on”, which allows you to use “Okay Google…” even when your phone screen is off. This will use more battery juice, though. So if you’re already worried about battery life, better leave that off.
Now, let’s move on to all the awesome voice commands
To give you a good overview, we took the most important and funniest Google Now voice commands and put them in a “Google Now style”-infographic. If you’re not a fan of such graphics, then don’t worry. You can find all the voice commands in text form below the infographic.
So, go ahead, say the magic words or tap the hell out of that microphone button and try them out yourself!
Update August ’15: Integration of WhatsApp and other messenger
Google is currently rolling out an update to Google Now to support voice commands for a number of messenger apps. Right now, this works only in English and with WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, WeChat and NextPlus. More languages and apps will follow, however.
To send a message to one of your contacts through WhatsApp, for example, follow these steps:
- Say “Okay Google, send a WhatsApp message to <name>”.
- Google Now gets ready to take your message. This takes 1 or 2 seconds.
- Now say the actual message.
- The last thing you need to do is confirm to send it by saying “Yes”.
The new integration of popular messengers to the world of Google Now shows that Google keeps on improving its personal assistant to make it more valuable even to people that rather don’t talk to their phones except for calls. Being able to answer WhatsApp messages while having your hands full or driving might convince more people to use Google Now more often. I’m curious what kind of update comes next.
Update March ’15: Custom Voice Actions
Great things are coming! According to the announcement on the Android Developer’s Google+ page, more and more 3rd party apps will get their own voice commands. For now, only a selected number of apps with limited commands are supported. For example, you can check for cool things around you by saying “Ok Google, find me attractions nearby on TripAdvisor.” Check out the infographic for more examples that are currently supported.
Custom Voice Actions is a great move forward for Google Now and its voice commands. Being able to control not only Google services but 3rd party apps with your voice makes that feature so much more useful. However, it’s up to developers to make use of custom voice actions and make it a valuable addition to Google Now.
More details about “Commandr“
We wrote about the voice command app Commandr before. In a nutshell, it allows you to enable additional voice commands which aren’t supported by Google Now. Commandr plugs into Google Now’s voice assistant and the new commands can be used just like all the other Google Now commands by saying “Okay Google…”. If you want to go completely crazy, Commandr can also trigger your Tasker rules. Check out our article about Commandr to see how you can set it up on your Android device.
Do you know any other important or funny commands which are not listed above? Share them with us in the comments!
List of Okay Google voice commands
In case the graphic is not displayed correctly or you want to copy some commands, here’s the list in text form:
- “Search for [chicken recipes]?”
- “Say [where is the supermarket] in [Spanish]?”
- “What is [Schrodinger’s cat]?”
- “Who invented [the internet]?”
- “What is the meaning of [life]?”
- “Who is married to [Ben Affleck]?”
- “Stock price of [Apple]”
- “Author of [Game of Thrones]”
- “How old is [Michael Jordan]?”
- “Post to Google+ [feeling great]”
Notes & Reminders
- “Remind me to [buy milk] at [5 PM]”
- “Remind me [when I get / next time I’m at] [home / work / other location] [to send an email to John]”
- “Wake me up in [5 hours]”
- “Note to self: [I parked my car in section D]”
- “Set alarm for [8 PM]”
Time & Date
- “What time is it in [Tokyo]?”
- “When is the sunset [in Chicago (optional)]”
- ”What is the time zone of [Berlin]”
- “Time at home”
- “Create a calendar event: [Dinner in New York] [Saturday at 8 PM]”
- “Call [Daniel]”
- “Call [mum / dad / wife / uncle / aunt …]”
- “Send [email] to Daniel, [Subject: Meeting], [Message: Will be there in 5]”
- “Send [SMS] to Philipp mobile, don’t forget to buy milk”
- ”[Contact name]”
- “Is it going to rain [tomorrow / Monday]”
- “What’s the weather in [Boston]?”
- “How’s the weather in [Portland] on [Wednesday] going to be?”
Maps & Navigation
- “Map of [Flagstaff]”
- “Show me the nearby [restaurant] on map”
- “Navigate to [Munich] on car”
- “How far is [Berlin] from [Munich]?”
- “Directions to [address / business name / other destination]”
While using Google Maps Navigation
“Okay Google, …”
- “…next step.” (Gives you details on your upcoming turn)
- “…mute / unmute.” (Mutes / unmutes voice nav)
- “…when will I get there?” (Gives your ETA)
- “…find gas stations.”
- “…exit navigation.”
- “…resume navigation.”
- “…show route overview.”
- “…show alternate routes.”
Conversions & Calculations
- “What is the tip for  dollars?”
- “Convert [currency / length …] to [currency / length …]”
- “How much is  times ?”
- “What is  percent of ?”
- “Square root of ”
- “….. equals”
- “How are [the New York Yankees] doing?”
- “When is the next [Los Angeles Lakers] game?”
- “Show me the [Premier League] table”
- “Did [Bayern Munich] win their last game?”
- “Flight [AA 125]?”
- “Flight status of [AA 125]”
- “Has [LH 210] landed?”
- “When will [AA 120] land / depart?”
- “Go to [Huffington Post]?”
- “Open [xda.com]”
- “Show me [android.com]”
- “Browse to [reddit.com]”
- “Listen to / play [Intro] by [The XX]?”
- “YouTube [fail compilation]?”
- “Who acted in [Ocean’s 11]?”
- “Who is the producer of [Gladiator]?”
- “When was [Alien] released?”
- “Runtime of [Avatar]”
- “Listen to TV”
- “What’s this song?”
Drive / Nest Integration
- “Search for [document name] on Drive.”
- “Set the temperature to  degrees.”
Custom Voice Actions (3rd party app control)
- Flixster: “Show me Inception on Flixster.”
- Instacart: “Show instacart availability.”
- NPR One: “Listen to NPR.”
- Shazam: “Shazam this song.”
- TripAdvisor: “Show attractions near me on TripAdvisor.”
- TuneIn Radio: “Open TuneIn in car mode.”
- Walmart: “Scan my receipt on Walmart.”
- Wink: “Activate home mode on Wink.”
Many more commands with the app “Commandr“
- “Turn on/off flashlight” / “Flashlight on/off”
- “[Wifi / Bluetooth / GPS / Wireless Hotspot] on/off.”
- “Lock phone”
- “Do a barrel roll”
- “What’s the loneliest number?”
- “Make me a sandwich!”
- “Sudo make me a sandwich!”
- “When am I?”
- “Okay Jarvis, …” (Instead of “Okay Google, …”)
- “Who are you?”
- “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.”
- “Beam me up, Scotty!”
- “Tilt” or “Askew”
- “What is your favorite color?”
- “Up up down down left right left right”
- “Tea, Earl Grey, hot” (That’s a tricky one)
- “Go go gadget [app name]”
- “When does the narwhal bacon?”
- “What is the Bacon number of [random actor]?”
- “What does the fox say?”
If you want to have the full Google Now experience at all times with all the latest updates – have a look at the Nexus 6P!
As already said above, if you know more important or funny commands, please share them in the comments. Of course, I will try to keep this list up-to-date.