Did you know that you could get your Android device to do things just by talking to it? We’re not talking about the usual way you talk on your smartphone to a friend, but in a specific way that allows your phone to follow your voice commands.
The latest version of Google Search is now part of a new Android app called ‘Google Now’. It has a small microphone icon on the right hand side that you can use to give voice commands to any Android device to perform a task. If you select this icon, you can speak your search queries instead of typing them. Better yet, there are many more things you can do with Android voice commands, or “voice actions” as Google calls them. This article tells you about the basic Android voice commands that let you take complete control of your gadget.
List of Android Voice Commands
1. Google Search
The very basic thing you can do with Android voice commands is to perform a simple Google search by speaking a few words. For example, if you say “Mayan history,” Google will give you search results for the query “Mayan history”. Google has a support page where you can find important search tricks and tips.
2. Go to a Website
With Android voice commands, you can open a website by saying ‘Go to [website address]’. For example, the next time you visit our website to check for updates, just tap the microphone icon and say ‘Go to lifegag dot com’. Your Android tablet or smartphone will bring you here directly.
3. Map of a Place
This is another Android voice command that can often be useful the next time you need to look at the location of a place. To make this thing work, say ‘Map [name of location]’. For example, if you need to look at ‘Venice’ on the map, just say ‘Map Venice’. Or ‘Map Hospital’ if you are looking for places to check your health status near your current location.
4. What’s this Song?
Well, if you want to know the song of a name currently playing on the radio, Android voice commands can make it easy. Just tap the microphone icon and say ‘What is this song? Your Android device listens carefully for a few seconds and displays the matching results on a pop-up screen along with the Play Store link of the song if it finds one. Cool, isn’t it?
5. Get Directions
Getting directions is yet another among the standard Android voice commands that conveniently arrive at specific times. If you’re in a city in the neighborhood that you’re not familiar with, tap the microphone icon and say (for example) “Directions to the nearest restaurant” or just “Directions to the restaurant.” Within seconds, a pop-up screen will display a list of nearby restaurants that are marked on a map. If you prefer to get walking directions, just say “Walking directions to a restaurant”.
6. Send Email
This is an easy way to send emails from your Android gadget. To compose an email and send it with just a few taps, tap the microphone icon and say ‘Send email to [name or contact], subject: “Let’s hangout,” message: “It’s boring, come on, let’s hang out”‘. After a few seconds, your device will convert your speech into a new email, and when everything seems to be fine, finally tap the ‘Send Email’ option.
7. Calendar Event
If you say a few words, you can create a new calendar event in a few seconds. Just say: “Create a calendar event: Jane’s birthday party in Texas, Saturday at 10 am”.
8. Post to Google+
You could even use Android voice commands to post to your Google+ profile. For example, if you’re having fun at a nightclub and you want to post this, say, “Post to Google+, I’m partying at the nightclub or [name of club]”.
9. Note to Self
You’re roaming a park on this Tuesday night off with your Android device in your pocket when suddenly a wonderful new thought comes to you, perhaps a discovery! Sometimes you just remember the names of things you need at the grocery store. Note to Self is an Android’s infinite way of taking notes using voice commands. Tap the microphone button on the home screen and then say, for example, ‘Note to self: Fashion blog idea’. Your Android gadget will send you an email and an audio recording of the views on your device.
This Android voice command is used for navigation purposes. You say the word ‘Navigate’ together with the name of the destination. For example: ‘Navigate to the Statue of Liberty’.
11. Set Alarm Time
You can now set an alarm within a few seconds by voice action; just say ‘Set alarm for [time]’. If you want to take a little nap and wake up after an hour, just say ‘Set alarm for 1 hour from now’.
12. Send SMS
Android voice commands even introduce an easy way to send text messages just like you send an email. If you want to send a message to a girl named Chrissie, just tap the microphone icon next to Google Search on the home screen and say ‘Send SMS to Chrissie, message, I’m coming, be ready at 7 am’.
13. Open an App
You don’t need the Internet to launch an app on your Android tablet PC or smartphone, nor do you need to type or tap on your screen. Simply tap the microphone icon and say ‘Open [app name]’. For example, if you want to open the gallery to view your photos, just say ‘Open Gallery’.
14. DEFINE [say a word]
For example, ‘define intent’ – well, you may have a list of guesses if the word you are saying is a bit strange, but that’s fine because you are trying to know the correct definition. Choose the right word suggestion from the list, and it will lead you to the Internet with the explanation for that word. Simple and cool!
15. Call Someone
To make a call, say “Call” along with the name or number of the contact you want to transfer. For example: ‘Call Info Tech Solutions’. Call home – you can even contact a house phone by simply saying ‘Call James at home’.
16. PLAY [say the name of a group or a specific track]
For example: ‘Play Dream On’. If you have the Aerosmith song and a music player app on your gadget that can handle voice commands, the gadget will start playing the song for you.
17. Listen to a Song
You can listen to a song by simply saying “Listen” along with the song title, artist, or album. For example: ‘Listen to Pitbull’.
18. Call [phone number]
If you want to make the task of dialing a phone number easy, just say the word “Call” along with the digits of the phone number.
19. Scan a Barcode
Just say ‘Scan a barcode’ and Google will present you with a barcode scanner that works with the camera of your gadget.
20. Set an Appointment
Allows you to create an appointment, for example, “Schedule meeting with [contact person name] at [date/time]”.
You may be thinking about whether or not these voice commands work without an Internet connection. Only the ‘Call Someone’ function will work without an Internet connection. Everything else in his article requires either a Wi-Fi connection or an enabled mobile Internet connection.