Everything you can do with Google Now voice commands but probably didn’t know

Voice search is one of those features that seems silly, but is awesome once you start using it. With any Android device, there is the magic phrase “Okay Google”. The moment you speak those words, a whole new world of instant information opens up to you. But what are the limits of Google Now? How many questions can you ask it?

Google’s been pushing voice actions for a while, adding tons of new features and trying to make it seem more appealing. I, like many of you, thought the whole thing was pretty silly until I actually started using it. Voice search is fast. Really fast. No tapping, no correcting typos (as long as you’re in a reasonably quiet room, of course), and no scrolling through menus for contacts if you’re trying to call a friend. You can do everything nearly instantaneously—and it’s more than just search.

Obviously, searching the web is one of Voice Actions’ biggest features, but it’s more than just a faster way to type a search query. The more Google’s “Knowledge Graph” grows, the more voice search actually becomes worthwhile, since it gives you a very straightforward answer to the things you ask. Here are some of the cooler things you can ask:

  • How many quarts are in a gallon? Everybody knows Google can make calculations and perform conversions, but boy, it’s a lot faster to ask it than it is to type it in. This is especially handy when you’re in the kitchen and just need a quick answer, when you want to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius, or…anything having to do with the imperial and metric systems, really.
  • Define “bellwether.” My friend and I didn’t know what this word actually meant, so I just asked Google.
  • Show me a video of how to peel garlic. If you specify that you want a video, Google will ensure videos show up at the top of your search results. The same works for images, too: Show me pictures of the Playstation 4will push image search results right to the top. You can even give it more detail, like Show me pictures of the Lincoln Memorial at sunset.
  • When does Whole Foods close? This is way faster than looking it up on Yelp or Google yourself.
  • What’s the weather like this weekend? Weather apps are usually just a tap away, but this is nice if you want to see the weather for a specific day without having to scroll through a bunch of information, I suppose.
  • When is Father’s Day? I hate holidays that change every year.
  • What’s a good Thai restaurant near me? It’ll search nearby Thai restaurants. If you change your mind, you can then ask How about Mexican? It’ll understand you’re still searching for restaurants nearby and act accordingly.
  • How long is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey? As if you didn’t already know the answer was “too long.”
  • What is area code 909? This is awesome for when you get those unnamed calls.
  • Who is the CEO of Ford Motor Company? Google knows who a lot of people are.
  • When is the next Red Wings game? You can also ask for the score of the last game, and other such things.
  • What time is it in Tokyo? Never try to convert time zones in your head again.
  • What is the status of US Airways flight 200? There are already a lot of other apps that deal with stuff like this (and can do more), but it’s good to know that Google can do it too.
  • What’s the theme song to Firefly? Shocker: it’s not called “You can’t take the sky from me.”

You get the idea. It knows a lot more than you probably think it does, and anything you can ask, it can probably answer. Of course, if you’re doing real research, this isn’t helpful—but it’s great for that quick stuff that you just need an answer to right away. Here’s a list of everything you can do with voice commands :

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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:

General Commands

  • “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]”

Communication

  • “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]”

Weather

  • “Weather”
  • “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 [125] dollars?”
  • “Convert [currency / length …] to [currency / length …]”
  • “How much is [18] times [48]?”
  • “What is [45] percent of [350]?”
  • “Square root of [81]”
  • “….. equals”

Sports

  • “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 Information

  • “Flight [AA 125]?”
  • “Flight status of [AA 125]”
  • “Has [LH 210] landed?”
  • “When will [AA 120] land / depart?”

Web Browsing

  • “Go to [Huffington Post]?”
  • “Open [xda.com]”
  • “Show me [android.com]”
  • “Browse to [reddit.com]”

Entertainment

  • “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 [72] 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”
  • “…”

Easter Eggs

  • “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?”

 

 

2 thoughts on “Everything you can do with Google Now voice commands but probably didn’t know

  1. Pingback: Use ‘Ok Google’ to control your Youtube app on Android | Verdict

  2. Pingback: Use OK Google voice command to have your notifications read out to you | Verdict

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