Did you know that you can make your Droid Phone do things simply by talking to it?
We’re not talking about the normal way you talk ON your phone, but a special way you can talk TO your phone and it will obey your Commands!
Your Droid phone can utilize “Android Voice Commands”. The name “Android Voice Actions” is the Official name for this function, but most people call it Voice Commands. Just in case you need to find more details on it, you might look around using the official name of Android Voice Actions.
Android Voice Commands – aka Android Voice Actions
Using Android Voice Commands makes it so you don’t have to type as much on your phone. That is really nice as most of us have fingers that are larger than the phone’s keypad, and if we are trying to do many things at once slowing down to type on the phone can be a bit of a pain.
Utilizing Android Voice Commands is a great way to do stuff without typing. You can make your phone send a Text Message or an Email without having to type even one character. When you first start using this feature on your phone, you may have to type a bit, but as you get better at it, you’ll find ways to use these Android Voice Commands that gets it all done without any typing at all!
Android Voice Commands – An Introduction
This article is intended to get you started using these Commands or Actions. We’ll have follow-up articles that go into further detail on many of the specific Voice Actions or Voice Commands you will commonly use to help you can get the most out of each one.
Here is a quick list of what some of the Android Voice Commands let you do:
- Make a Phone Call
- View a Map of Places Around You
- Start Navigation (voice guided) to a Location
- Send a Text Message
- Write & Send an Email
- Play Some Music
- Send a Written “Note to Self” Message
- Find a Website Online
- Look up a Definition
Watch a video on this topic: Android Voice Commands Basics Video.
Android Voice Commands – Voice Driven
Your Droid or Android Phone uses Voice Technology developed by Google to perform these functions. It seems very futuristic, but it is here now and it works! Tell it to “Beam Me Up Scotty” and you’ll find yourself looking at a website, so let’s focus on the commands that will really do something helpful for you.
The point of the Voice Commands is to let you direct your phone to do something by using your voice. At times you may need to interact further with your phone (like select–with your finger–the proper option from some choices given to you), but for most things, that interaction is limited. These Android Voice Commands really work quite well!
Android Voice Commands – How do you start?
To start all the Voice Commands you need to find your Google Search Widget on your phone. If it is not on one of your home screens, you’ll want to put it on one. In fact, once you try this stuff out and love it, you will want this Google Search Widget right at the top of your main home screen so you can access it easily at all times! (That’s what I did)
On the right side of the Google Search Widget you’ll find a Microphone icon.
That is key to getting the Android Voice Commands to start working. You press the Microphone in the Widget and in a second, start barking out commands to your phone.
Android Voice Commands – Are You Too Slow?
When you press the Mic Icon on the Widget, you will see a screen that says “Speak now”.
If you don’t speak fast enough, it shifts to a different screen that says, “No speech heard” or “No match found”. Bottom line is, just press the “Speak again” button and try again. It wants you to speak up right away so it knows you mean it!
You don’t have to speak quickly (as in fast speech), your Droid phone just wants you to start speaking right when it is ready. After a few tries you should get the hang of it.
Android Voice Commands – Uses Voice Search
Part of the technology here is powered by the App called “Voice Search”. This Voice Search App should be automatically installed on your phone. If your phone is having difficulties with the Voice Commands, you may need to reset the Voice Search App. This was the way to fix misbehaving Voice Commands in the past and is most likely already fixed on your phone.
Since we will go over the details for most of these common Android Voice Commands in other articles, we’ll just quickly go over the basics here.
Watch the video on this topic: Android Voice Commands Basics Video.
Android Voice Commands – Quick List
For all of the following,
you start out by pressing the
Microphone icon on the Google Search Widget. Then speak the following into your phone:
CALL [say a phone number or a name on your phone], i.e. “Call John Smith, mobile” – it will start dialing the number or present you with some choices if it is not sure.
MAP [say a place], i.e. “Map Parks” or “Map Gas Stations” – you should get a visual map of where these types of places are near you.
NAVIGATE TO [say a place or an address], i.e. “Navigate to Logan Airport” – The GPS-driven Navigation feature kicks in and gives you verbal turn by turn directions from where you are to where you said to go!
SEND TEXT TO [say a name or a phone number, then the message], i.e. “Send Text to Susie Sample, Did you walk the dog Question Mark” – The screen will show you the texting screen waiting for your approval of what it thinks you said. If all is good, press Send.
EMAIL [say a contact name, then the message], i.e. “Email Mark Smith, Hey Mark can your phone do this Question Mark” – there is more you can do with this Android Voice Command but we’ll have to leave that for the full article on Emails using Voice Actions.
PLAY [say the name of a group or a particular piece/song], i.e. “Play Revelation Song” – If you have the music and a music App on your phone that can deal with Voice Commands, it will start playing the music for you. This one can be tricky!
NOTE TO SELF [say what you want to remind yourself of], i.e. “Note to self, Remember to get dog food on the way home today” – The result of this one is you get a written email sent to you (“yourself”) with the text you dictated. It is not sending you an audio file, but the written text in an email.
GO TO [say a website name], i.e. “Go to Use My Droid dot com” – you should end up here! At www.UseMyDroid.com
DEFINE [say a word], i.e. “Define Palpable” – you may get a list of guesses as to the word you say if it is strange enough, but that is OK because you are trying to get the definition right? Choose the proper word choice from the list and it then takes you to the web with a definition for that word. Cool!
Android Voice Commands – That should do it
Well, that should be enough to get you going… Like we said, we should be adding some more detailed articles on many of these common Android Voice Commands soon. If you find that you need help making them work, leave a comment below. AND if you want us to give details on a particular one, leave a comment below as well, so we’ll be sure to cover it.