OK Google: All you need to know

OK Google: All you need to know

What is OK Google for?

OK Google is a powerful tool for Android smartphones that helps us communicate with our mobile without even touching it. The voice assistant is called Google Assistant, and the words "OK Google" are what activate it , so if you say them, even if the smartphone is with the screen off, the assistant will start. Google has been working on it for years and has refined it a lot at this point, Google Assistant has endless options to make your life easier and, once you try it, it is difficult to disengage from it.

To give some examples of what can be done with OK Google … it is possible to search for information on the web by voice commands only, set alarms, create reminders, make shopping lists, search for restaurants, start routes, install and open applications, take photos, throw dice or coins (heads or tails), complete riddles ... All these options are combined with those of the world of home automation, and is that OK Google is fully integrated into it, being able to control any smart device you have in your home from the distance. This has been a brief summary of what Google Assistant is capable of, let's really see how much it covers.

Launch OK Google

Let's see how to enable OK Google first of all, if not of little use this guide. Anyway, in this other guide you have detailed information about the start-up and all the configuration that the Google assistant allows, but in the following lines we are going to summarize them to the basics so that it is functional.

The first thing to do is locate the Google icon . Its appearance will depend on the smartphone or tablet you have, but the name will be exactly that: Google. Here you can see a photo of what it should be, with a similar icon. If you want to put OK Google in Windows , visit this other guide.

If we enter we will see a new window with information and many options, we go down to the right and click on the three points, where it says "More". Then we give "Settings" and "Voice".

Within this section we look for the option "Voice Match" and we give it. Once inside, we must make sure that the first and second options are activated (if the first is not activated, no other will appear).

Within this section we look for the option "Voice Match" and we give it. Once inside, we must make sure that the first and second options are activated (if the first is not activated, no other will appear).

After a short microphone test, we will have Google Assistant activated and we can use it by saying the words " OK Google " at any time . If you want to know more about how to use it with wireless headphones, choose default applications to use to play music or videos, set shopping preferences, flight reservations and much more, take a look at the guide that we told you at the beginning of this section , I put it back here.

What does OK Google offer for the day to day

Many of the functions that the Google voice assistant integrates are designed to facilitate the usual daily tasks, whether you are a student or a worker you will have multiple options to improve your performance and spend much less time touching your mobile to obtain the same result. We could say that OK Google has great automation options for people who work and have some other smart device installed at home.

Routines are a set of commands that are executed when you say a specific phrase (you can select this phrase yourself). For example, if you have smart devices linked through Google Home at home, routines unlock their full potential. Even if you don't have it, they will be of great help to you on a day-to-day basis.

To enter the Google Assistant routines you must follow the steps of the first image, I put it again.

But now we click on Assistant, Routines, and select one.

This is where you can select the actions that OK Google will do after saying the phrase that appears at the beginning (which we can change) . From common tasks such as reporting the weather, news, checking the calendar for that day ... to other more advanced tasks that require smart devices such as light bulbs, blinds, heaters, televisions ... All connected through Google Home . These options appear as cloudy in the captures, since in my case I do not have any of these devices.

Custom routines can be created as well, as well as specific commands within each routine. Everything is testing.

On the other hand, the most common tasks for day to day are setting alarms, creating reminders, making the shopping list, looking for information in general, informing us of the news ... All this is within reach of a single sentence with OK Google . The phrases that I say after each “OK Google” are those that appear in the first line of the screenshots below.

For example, we can set the alarm every day of the week , or just one day (although it does not allow setting them more than 24 hours in advance). Other options are to see today's events (this is one of the commands in the OK Google routines), set timers (ideal to remember to turn the roast, hang clothes, call someone ...).

What does OK Google offer to entertain us

As entertainment and hobbies, the Google Assistant is quite a capable tool. Although its strength is to facilitate our day-to-day lives, it also offers us games, activities, riddles, jokes and a lot of curious data that it draws from its large database.

From asking him to tell us a joke (we can interact slightly with him once he has told us) to asking him riddles or telling us the odd tongue twister.  Everything related to entertainment with OK Google is covered extensively in this other guide, although in this one that you are reading now we will briefly summarize it.

With OK Google we can also roll dice, heads or tails or ask for random numbers . These commands, except for the heads or tails, are quite customizable and, in the case of the dice we can ask them to be X heads, or to roll X dice with Y heads. The random number that we ask for can be between -1000 million and +1000 million.

In order from left to right we have asked him: roll 3 7-sided dice, tell me a random number from -200 to -50, heads or tails.

We can also ask you to give us some curious information (spoiler: it has many). If we say "surprise me" you can come up with several answers, and we can also ask you about your direct competitors , which are the other existing voice assistants such as Alexa (Amazon), Cortana (Windows) and Siri (iOS).

You may have noticed that in each curious piece of information a button appears below that takes us to the source from which it was obtained. Before telling us the data itself by voice, it refers to the source, but only by voice, which cannot be captured in an image (obviously).

OK Google also offers us two-way conversations , in which you interact with the assistant and it also serves to pass the time. Not that I get to interact too much, but a couple of consistent responses can bring you back.

OK Google's strong point: information search engine

The Google Assistant was originally designed to provide information to the user through voice commands . That is why, at this point and with many years behind us, today the strength of Google Assistant is precisely that, the search for information of all kinds.

From obtaining traffic information in your area (this is another of the possible commands for the OK Google routines that we have seen before), to seeing the time (one or several days) or establishing routes between two points (it gives you the possibility open Google Maps and start navigation with a single touch).

It is also possible to see the movie billboard of the week, search for flights or products to buy, book restaurants ... All this through simplified voice commands.

Any information we need will be displayed on the screen after asking for it. Here we have dealt with a wide variety of topics and all of them answer exactly, using for this, obviously, the Google search engine.

Use OK Google by default commands

So far we have seen a lot of phrases that we can tell the Google Assistant to do certain actions. However, there are specific commands for you to instantly perform actions on your Android smartphone or tablet. We cover these types of commands extensively in this other guide , but here we are going to show the essential and most used by users.

These commands cover a wide range of possibilities, focusing on enabling smartphone functions or controlling certain aspects of it, always from a distance and without even having to touch the mobile. For example, we can send messages by Telegram, WhatsApp or via text to the contact we want with a single command, activate or deactivate WiFi, mobile data... 

It is also possible to open applications, download those that we do not have installed and put music, all through simple and concise commands.

Then, we can control the mobile remotely in certain aspects. From raising X volume points to controlling the brightness of the screen or checking the latest photos taken. For the latter, Google Assistant will search Google Photos, so if you do not have synchronization activated, the latest photos taken with your camera will not appear, but the latest photos uploaded to Google Photos.

Summary of what OK Google is capable of doing

There are many actions that we can perform with OK Google using voice commands . The identification of what we tell it about what it does is quite good and I have hardly detected any failures, a direct consequence of having been used for so long in many Android devices. From simple voice commands to obtain information or actions to perform on the smartphone, to complex routines that execute a series of commands and that are fully integrated into the world of home automation.

During this Google Assistant guide we have covered practically every area in which the Google voice assistant can be used. However, the one that covers a lot does not squeeze, so we recommend that you visit each of the specific guides for each section of OK Google . We have been leaving them for the text, but we put them below as a summary.

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