What voice command does Android have?

Android is a popular open-source mobile operating system developed by Google. It powers billions of devices worldwide. One of Android’s signature features is its built-in voice command functionality, which allows users to control their devices hands-free using just their voice.

The main voice command feature on Android devices is called “OK Google.” By simply saying these two words, users can activate their device’s microphone and issue voice commands to complete tasks like placing calls, sending messages, getting directions, playing music, and more. The “OK Google” command works on the home screen, within many apps, and even when the screen is locked.

OK Google

The main way to activate voice control on Android devices is by saying “OK Google.” This wake phrase triggers the Google Assistant to start listening for voice commands (Access Google Assistant with your voice – Android).

On many Android devices, “OK Google” detection works from any screen, allowing voice control to be activated hands-free at any time. This always-on availability means users can launch applications, set reminders, search the web, and more without having to touch their device (Get started with Voice Access spoken commands – Android).

“OK Google” gives users immediate access to the powerful Google Assistant, enabling voice to control core device functions.

Voice Commands

One of the standout features of Android is its built-in voice command functionality. By saying “OK Google” or “Hey Google”, users can activate Google Assistant, Android’s virtual assistant. Google Assistant allows users to execute commands and tasks through voice instead of touch.

Some of the most common and useful voice commands include:

  • Making calls – “Call mom”
  • Sending texts – “Text John I’m running late”
  • Getting directions – “Navigate to the nearest gas station”
  • Setting reminders – “Remind me to take out the trash at 8pm”
  • Controlling smart home devices – “Turn on the living room lights”
  • Asking questions – “How tall is Mount Everest?”
  • Playing music – “Play relaxing piano music”

Google Assistant can understand natural language, so users don’t have to memorize a specific syntax. For example, both “Text mom I’ll be late” and “Send a text to mom saying I’ll be late” would work.

Voice commands allow users to multitask and get things done without having to tap through apps or type. It makes using an Android device quicker, easier and more convenient.

Third Party Apps

Google Assistant comes preloaded on most Android devices as the default voice assistant. However, there are many excellent third party assistant apps that can either replace or work alongside Google Assistant. Some popular options include:

Amazon Alexa – Alexa can be installed as an app on Android and provides similar functionality to the stand alone Alexa devices. You can ask Alexa questions, control smart home devices, set reminders, make lists, and more.

ELSA Speak – ELSA is focused on helping you improve your English pronunciation and speaking skills. It can listen to you speak and provide feedback on how to pronounce words better.

SoundHound – SoundHound is a music recognition app that can identify songs based on a short audio clip. You can also ask SoundHound to perform web searches, dictate messages, and control smart home devices.

These are just a few of the top options for third party voice assistant apps on Android. While not as full featured as Google Assistant, they provide added functionality in specific areas that users may find helpful.

Custom Commands

Google Assistant on Android allows users to create custom voice commands to control their device hands-free. This can be done through the built-in Assistant settings menu. According to Komando, to set up a custom command, start by saying “OK Google, open Assistant settings” or “OK Google, open Assistant tab.”

From there, tap on Settings > Preferences > Customized > Add your own. You can now record a custom phrase to trigger a specific action. For example, saying “Good morning” could trigger your phone to open the weather, news, calendar, and other morning routines. The Assistant will listen for your custom trigger phrase and execute the programmed action.

Custom commands help enhance hands-free accessibility and personalize the Android experience. With some creativity, users can set up custom voice shortcuts for their most common tasks and workflows. According to Computerworld, custom commands make it easier and faster to open apps, automate routines, and fly through Android hands-free.

Voice Match

Voice Match is a feature that allows Google Assistant on Android devices to recognize your voice so it can provide more personalized results. When Voice Match is enabled, you can teach Google Assistant what your voice sounds like by saying the phrases “Ok Google” and “Hey Google” a few times.

Once Voice Match is set up, Google Assistant will be able to tell your voice apart from others and give you personalized information from your account like calendar events, emails, contacts and more without you having to log in each time. According to Google’s support page (https://support.google.com/assistant/answer/7394306?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid), Voice Match makes Google Assistant “faster and more helpful” by providing personalized results and access.

For example, you could ask Google Assistant “What’s on my calendar today?” and it would check your calendar rather than the calendar of whoever else is around. Or you could say “Text Mom I’m running late” and it would know to text your mom based on your contacts. Voice Match enables a more convenient and customized Google Assistant experience.

Offline Use

Android includes built-in support for using voice commands offline without an internet connection. This is enabled through the Google app and uses offline speech recognition models stored on your device. To set up offline voice commands, open the Google app, go to Settings > Voice > Voice Match, and turn on “Hey Google” detection.

You must also download an offline speech recognition model for your language. This allows your device to process voice commands locally when not connected to the internet. According to a Reddit user, “Open the app, go to Settings > Voice > Voice Match, and turn on Hey Google. Next, you must have a language set up for offline speech recognition so it can run locally on your device without needing cloud services” (Source).

The offline speech models do have some limitations in terms of vocabulary size and accuracy compared to online models. But they allow you to access basic commands like “call mom”, “set alarm”, or “open browser” without an internet connection.


Android includes several built-in accessibility features to help people with disabilities fully utilize their devices. One key feature is Voice Access, which allows users to control their device using spoken commands (https://support.google.com/accessibility/android/answer/6151848?hl=en).

With Voice Access enabled, users can launch apps, navigate screens, edit text fields, and more using their voice. Some example voice commands include “Go home,” “Scroll down,” “Tap Search,” and “Type Hello.” There are over 30 commands available (https://support.google.com/accessibility/android/answer/6151854?hl=en).

Voice Access provides an alternative control method for those unable to sufficiently utilize touchscreen devices. It increases independence for people with limited mobility. The app even includes a tutorial to help users get started.

Overall, Voice Access makes Android devices more accessible. It embodies Google’s commitment to developing products for everyone. With powerful voice recognition and a robust command set, Voice Access helps users with disabilities fully utilize their devices hands-free.


Privacy has become a major concern when it comes to voice assistants. Google states that the Assistant is designed with privacy in mind and does not retain your audio recordings by default (source). However, many users remain skeptical, especially since the technology requires always-listening microphones (source).

You can manage your privacy settings and turn off features like Voice Match and “Hey Google” wake words. Google also allows you to review and delete your Assistant history. Third party apps like Tasker allow more customization and control over what data is collected (source). Overall, privacy depends on your comfort level with Google having access to voice data. Turning off certain features can help limit collection.

The Future

Voice technology is rapidly advancing and many speculate that voice assistants like Google Assistant will become even more capable in the future. According to MasterofCode, predictions for the future of voice assistants include more personalized experiences, voice push notifications, and shifts in search behavior. RipenApps believes future Android voice assistants may incorporate visual recognition and augmented reality in addition to voice. Clearbridge Mobile sees voice assistants becoming central hubs for connected homes. As the technology improves, voice assistants are likely to play bigger roles in daily life with more seamless, intuitive and personalized interactions.

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