8 Android voice commands that are actually really useful

Sure, it’s cool to say, “OK Google” to your Android phone and ask questions like, “What’s the best sushi place nearby?” or “How did Mount Everest get its name?” But once the novelty of gimmicky voice commands like those wears off, you may find yourself hardly ever speaking to your Android device—well, unless you’re chatting with a human.

That’s a shame, though, because some Android voice commands can be quite useful, simple, and even time-saving.

Such everyday activities as creating a reminder or setting your Android alarm clock are (I’d argue, anyway) actually easier and faster to do by voice than by swiping and tapping. Same goes for finding where you’re going, adding an event to your calendar, or even sending a brief text message.

Read on for eight Android voice commands that are actually really useful, starting with…

1. Open an app

With a single tap, you can open Gmail, Chrome, Google Maps, or any other app that you happen to have sitting front-and-center on a home screen or in the app dock. But hunting for an app that’s buried deep down in the application drawer can be a real pain.

Ben Patterson

It’s often easier to open an Android app using voice commands rather than digging around the application drawer.

If you’d rather not waste time sifting through all your apps for just the right one, try this: Say (for example), “Open Kindle app” or “Open Skitch app.”

When you do (and assuming the app you asked for is installed on your device, of course), Google will simply open the app. If it’s not sure which app you want to open, it’ll present you with the icon for the app it thinks you requested; just tap the blue confirmation button, and the app will open.

Bonus tip: You can set your Android phone or tablet to start listening the moment you say “OK Google” by opening the Google app and tapping Settings Voice “OK Google” detection.

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