Google Now – Features and Voice Commands

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Google Now is a virtual assistant for your Android, providing you with what you need to know, when you ask. It doesn’t matter whether you are checking in on the forecast for your holiday destination, looking up flight information, or setting a reminder – Google Now is ready to provide you with the information you need. Let’s look at the most useful Google Now voice commands you will want to be familiar with so that Google Now could help make your life easier.

How to use Google Now

google now activate

First, you need to install the app on your Android device.

To quickly install the app, open your app drawer and choose Google Settings > Search & Now > Voice > OK Google detection and enable From any screen. What this means is that you will be able to say “OK Google” whenever your phone is awake, and this will launch and activate the Google Now voice search.

For Android phones that are running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, you will find your Google settings in the Settings menu rather than in the app drawer. If you can’t be bothered to scroll through this list, you can just tap the mic icon and say “show me what you got,” and this will access the list of voice commands on your phone.

Commands for specific apps

whatsapp ok google

  • “Send a [WhatsApp] message to [Andrew Paine]” (you’ll also have to say “Yes” to confirm the sending)

This command can be used with WhatsApp, WeChat, Telegram, Hangouts, Viber, and NextPlus, and there is a variety of possible formats:

  • “Send a [WhatsApp] message to [Chris]”
  • “Send a [Telegram] message to [Grace]”
  • “Send a message with [NextPlus]”
  • “Search for [document name] in Drive”
  • “Set the temperature to [X] degrees” (only works with Nest)
  • “Show me [Bill Gates] on Flixster”
  • “Listen to BBC One”
  • “Send a message to [Dad] with [Viber]”
  • “Shazam this song”
  • “Open TuneIn in car mode”
  • “Show Instacart availability”
  • “Show attractions near Prague in TripAdvisor”
  • “Activate work mode in Wink”
  • “Scan my receipt in Macy’s”

Storing your preferences

You can recall your preferred apps by saying something like, “OK Google, scan my receipt in Starbucks,” and conveniently, Google will then automatically open your Starbucks app to scan your receipt. However, should you not mention the app and just say “OK Google, scan my receipt,” Google will pop up a window that will provide some options for you.

If you choose the same app several times (in our example, the Starbucks app), Google will learn and store your preference for scanned receipts with the Starbucks app and, in the future, this app will be launched automatically when you say, “OK Google, scan my receipt.”

Commands for general use

ok google stocks

  • “Search for [turkey recipes]?”
  • “Say [where is the library] in [Russian]?”
  • “What is [a molecule]?”
  • “Who invented [the automobile]?”
  • “What is the meaning of [a mandala]?”
  • “Who is married to [Gwyneth Paltrow]?”
  • “Stock price of [Microsoft]”
  • “What is [Microsoft] trading at?”
  • “How old is [Bill Clinton]?”
  • “Author of [Henry and Cato]”
  • “Where was [Jimmy Page] born?”
  • “Show me pictures of [the Notre Dame de Paris]”
  • “Post to Google+ [in the mood for a jog]”
  • “Post to Twitter [finally home after a long trip to India]”
  • “Search [Tumblr] for [music reviews 2016]”
  • “What is [German] for [pleased to meet you]?”
  • “Show me my bills due this month”
  • “Where’s my package?” (Your package tracking details have to be in Google Now already)

Applications

  • “Open [Instagram]”
  • “Launch [Calendar]”
  • “Take a [photo / picture / selfie]”
  • “Record a video”

Time and date

  • “What time is it in [New York]?”
  • “When is the sunset [in San-Francisco]”
  • “What is the time zone of [Beijing]”
  • “Time at home”
  • “Create a calendar event: [Meeting in LA] [Monday at 9 AM]”

Communication

  • “Call [Joe]” “Call [Jim] on speaker phone”
  • “Call [Tate Britain art gallery]”
  • “Call [mom, grandpa, brother, dad]”
  • “Send [email] to Thomas, [Subject: Weekend], [Message: Any plans?]”
  • “Send [SMS] to [Zoey work], [meet you in the subway]”
  • “[Contact name]”
  • “Find [Peter’s] [phone number / email / address]”
  • “Listen to voicemail”
  • “When is [Theodor’s] birthday?”

Weather

ok google weather

  • “Weather”
  • “Do I need an umbrella today?”
  • “What’s the weather like?”
  • “Is it going to rain [tomorrow / Sunday]”
  • “What’s the weather in [Mexico city]?”
  • “How’s the weather in [Seattle] on [Thursday] going to be?”

Maps & navigation

  • “Map of [Austin, Texas]”
  • “Where’s my hotel?”
  • “Where is the [Statue of Liberty]?”
  • “Find the “Camp Nou”
  • “Show me the nearby [cafe] on map”
  • “Navigate to [Hamburg] on car”
  • “How far is [London] from [Birmingham]?”
  • “Directions to [address / business name / other destination]”
  • “What are some attractions in [Naples]”
  • “Show me the menu for [Jamie’s Italian]”

Conversions and calculations

  • “What is the tip for [30] dollars?”
  • “Convert [temperature / length …] to [temperature / length …]”
  • “How much is [1] times [0]?”
  • “What is [99] percent of [99]?”
  • “Square root of [256]”
  • “[arithmetic expression] equals”

Sports

  • “How are [the Boston Red Sox] doing?”
  • “When is the next [Washington Capitals] game?”
  • “Show me the [Premier League] table”
  • “Did [Atletico Madrid] win their last game?”

Flight information

ok google flights

  • “Flight [CC 1208]?”
  • “Flight status of [CC 1208]”
  • “Has [CC 1208] landed?”
  • “When will [CC 1208] land / depart?”
  • “Show me my flights”

Web browsing

  • “Go to [Financial Times]”
  • “Open [surfsecured.com]”
  • “Show me [cell-buzz.com]”
  • “Browse to [facebook.com]”

Entertainment

  • “Listen to / play [Intro] by [XX]”
  • “YouTube [Strength wars]”
  • “Who acted in [The Walking Dead]?”
  • “Who is the producer of [Avatar]?”
  • “When was [Rambo] released?”
  • “Run time of [Godzilla]”
  • “Listen to TV”
  • “What’s this song?”
  • “What songs does [Rihanna] sing?”
  • “Play some music”
  • “Watch [Zootopia]”
  • “Read [War and Peace]”
  • “What movies are playing [tomorrow]?”
  • “Where is [The Dark Knight] playing?”

“Fun” commands

  • “Do a barrel roll”
  • “What’s the loneliest number?”
  • “Make me a sandwich!”
  • “When am I?”
  • “Okay Jarvis, …” (Instead of ”Ok Google, …”)
  • “Who are you?”
  • “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.”
  • “Beam me up, Scotty!”
  • “Askew” or “Tilt”
  • “What is your favourite colour?”
  • “What is the nature of the universe?”
  • “How can entropy be reversed?”
  • “Lions, tigers and bears…”
  • “Who’s on first?”
  • “What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything?”
  • “Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right”
  • “Tea, earl grey, hot”
  • “What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?”
  • “What is the best smartphone?”
  • “Tell me about yourself”
  • “Go go gadget [app name]”
  • “Flip a coin”
  • “Roll a dice”
  • “What is [James Earl Jones]’s Bacon number?”
  • “What does the fox say?”
  • “When does the narwhal bacon?”

Are you using the Google Now voice commands? Which commands do you find most useful? Why not let us know what you think.

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