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How to Use Android’s Voice Action Commands

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Thanks to advances in mobile technology, smart-phone gadgets are now more like portable mobile super-computing devices that combine the functionalities of a handheld computer, music player, notepad, GPS navigation unit and more. As if the above features are not confusing enough for consumers, Google launched Voice Actions for the Android operating system which unsurprisingly some users might find difficult to understand.

This post has therefore been put together in a bid to help users who fall into the above category understand how to use Android Voice Actions commands. Fortunately, the steps are quite straight forward as shown below. Click here to read the first steps you need to take.

To use Voice Actions (if present on your Android phone):

  1. Tap the microphone button on the Google search box on your device’s home screen, or press down for a few seconds on the physical search button on your phone to activate the “Speak Now” screen.
  2. Then speak any of the following commands (to perform a Voice Action on your phone):
    • send text to [contact] [message]
    • listen to [artist/song/album]
    • call [business]
    • call [contact]
    • send email to [contact] [message]
    • go to [website]
    • note to self [note]
    • navigate to [location/business name]
    • directions to [location/business name]
    • map of [location]

Examples of Android Voice Action Commands

Send text messages
Say “send text to [recipient] [message]*”
e.g. “send text to Sam Pepper Running late. I will be home around 9”

Get directions
Say “navigate to [address/city/business name]”
e.g. “navigate to the Forth Road Bridge Edinburgh” or “navigate to 14 Chamber St.”

Listen to music
Say “listen to [artist/song/album]”
e.g. “listen to take that and robbie williams”

Call businesses
Say “call [business name] [location]*”
e.g. “call Amani restaurant Leith”

Call contacts
Say “call [contact name] [phone type]*”
e.g. “call James Corden home”

View a map
Say “map of [address/city]”
e.g. “map of New York”

Write a note
Say “note to self [message]”
e.g. “note to self grocery list bread milk eggs coffee”

Search Google
Say “[your query]”
e.g. “pictures of the niagara falls at sunset”

Go to websites
Say “go to [website] e.g. “go to Twitter”

Send email
Say “send email to [recipient] [subject]* [body]*”
e.g. “send email to Cesc Fabregas How’s life in London treating you? The weather’s beautiful in Barcelona!”

* optional

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    August 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    I guess Google Android is going to take the smart market away from iPhone, if iPhone did not come up with similar app.

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    August 20, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Those voice commands sound pretty sweet. Now I want an Android phone! Funny how I’ve managed to avoid getting a cell phone at all. It looks like it’s time to finally embrace the technology though. Bye, bye land line!

  4. aroopam

    August 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    android phones are more smarter than smart phones

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    August 21, 2010 at 6:14 am

    My officemate recently got a post paid account with a free Samsung Galaxy mobile phone as the unit. She’d probably used that voice command to annoy me like make my phone ring whenever I’m sleepy.

  6. Jabber Server

    August 21, 2010 at 11:25 am

    The most natural way of interacting with a phone remains what it always has been: speaking..Google has added two new features to its Android software designed to enhance the utility of smartphones that use the mobile operating system software.

  7. orlando seo

    August 30, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Dropped my iphone and I am never going back. Android rocks!

  8. Pingback: How To Use Voice Action Commands on your Android phone

  9. Maggie

    February 23, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    I’ve managed to almost completely give up on voice commands. I think it has something to do with my accent, but the darn phone never reads it. Any tips to tricking it into thinking I’m speaking normal?

  10. Jim Olenbush

    August 15, 2011 at 3:48 am

    Apple should come up with an application with voice recognition because if not, Android phones might take the throne as the leading mobile phone provider. I really like this functionality. I want it bad in iPhone.

  11. john smith

    August 27, 2011 at 3:50 am

    Android’s voice command system is very unique and truly comes in handy when driving and doing other similar activities. Sometimes it doesn’t pickup right away, but is definitely a good service.

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  13. James

    November 24, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Android phones might take the throne as the leading mobile phone provider. I really like this functionality

  14. M. Giese

    June 10, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Voice command takes me to the internet for a voice search, not to phone contact.

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