How to use Google Assistant, plus all the ‘OK, Google’ commands you need to know

One of the best things about using Google on your smartphone is the voice commands. Using just your voice you can get your device to do all sorts of things on your behalf. It’s fast, convenient, and still feels a bit like the future. The complete list of “OK, Google” commands and compatible apps has grown considerably over time, meaning there are likely things you can do with Google that you’re not even aware of. To find out more, check out everything you need to know about Google Assistant.

If you own an Android device, you might want to turn on “OK, Google” so that you can start using this feature without having to tap the microphone icon. The first thing we need to do is make sure this feature is turned on, so let’s see if it is.

Turning on ‘OK, Google’

  1. Open your App Drawer, and open the Google app, then tap the More (hamburger menu) in the corner, and go to Settings. Alternatively, you can go to Settings > Google > Search.
  2. Tap on Voice > Voice Match, and turn on Access with Voice Match. You may also want to toggle on Unlock with Voice Match if you’d like to be able to use “OK, Google” even when your phone is locked.
  3. Follow the instructions to train your phone to respond to your voice.
  4. If you’re having trouble when you say “OK, Google,” and it doesn’t seem to be working for you, then try tapping Retrain voice model, or Delete voice model and set it up again.

Now that it’s turned on, we can start using “OK, Google.” Let’s take a look at all the different commands you can use with your device. All you have to do is say “OK, Google,” and Google will start listening to your commands. You can always tap the microphone icon and issue a voice command if you prefer not to use the “OK, Google” feature, or you can tap the keyboard icon at the bottom left and type your queries and commands.

Searching and asking questions

Asking Google about anything

  • “How old is [name]?”
  • “Where was [name] born?’
  • “Who invented [anything you want to find].”
  • “How tall is [name of person or building].”
  • “What country is [anything you want to find] in?”
  • “What’s my commute like?”
  • “Will it rain tomorrow?”
  • “How far is [any business you want to find] from here?”
  • “What’s a good restaurant nearby?”
  • “Help me relax.”
  • “Where’s my hotel?”
  • “Browse [nameofwebsite.com],” when you want to go directly to the website.
  • “Go to [name of website],” when you want it to appear in a Google search.

Google can obviously turn to the internet for answers, but it can also search your Gmail inbox and some other places. For example, when we asked “Where’s my hotel?” it looked in Gmail and found an upcoming reservation.

Sports

  • “How is [say the name of the team] doing?”
  • “Results from [say the name of the team] last game.”
  • “When is [say the name of the team] next game?”
  • “Did [say the name of the team] win the last game?”

Stocks

  • “What is [name] stock price?”
  • “What is [name] trending at?”

Words

  • “What is the definition of [say the word].”
  • “Define [say the word].”
  • “Synonyms for [say the word].”

Google account and privacy settings

  • “Open Google account settings.”
  • “Show my Google search history.”
  • “Adjust my Google privacy settings.”
  • “Adjust my Google security settings.”

Messaging, notes, and music

  • “Show me my messages.”
  • “Text [name of contact] [say the message].”
  • “Send an email to [say the contact name] [say what you want to write in the email].”
  • “Call [say the name of the contact].”
  • “Call [say the name of the contact] on speakerphone.”

Other messaging, music, and social apps that work with ‘OK, Google’

If you want to send a message with Viber, and not your default text messaging app, then you would say, “OK, Google, send a message with Viber.” You can also try commands such as “take a note with Evernote,” or “search for cat videos on YouTube.”

These are all apps that are compatible with “OK, Google”, but this is not a complete list:

  • Google Hangouts — “Send a hangouts message to [say name].”
  • Evernote — “Make a note with Evernote.”
  • Whatsapp — “Send a Whatsapp message to [say contact name].”
  • Viber — “Send a message with Viber.”
  • Telegram — “Send a Telegram message to [say contact name].”
  • YouTube — “Search [say what you want to search for] on YouTube.”
  • Pandora — “Play [name of song] on Pandora.”
  • Google Music — “Listen to [name of song].”
  • Facebook — “Post [say your message] on Facebook.”
  • Twitter — “Post [say your message] on Twitter.”

If you want to install any of these apps, you can find them in the Play Store by saying, “OK Google, search for [name of app] in the Play Store.”

Other to-do and notes apps that work with ‘OK, Google’

These note apps all work by saying “Make a note with [name of app]”

  • Wunderlist
  • Trello
  • OneNote
  • Catch
  • Google Keep

Send money with Google Assistant

As long as you have Google Pay set up on your phone, you can send money to people or request money from them using Google Assistant with commands like:

  • “Send [say contact name] $20.”
  • “Request $10 from [say contact name] for dinner tonight.”
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