What does a powerful assistant need

OK Google - how to enable and use voice search

Steffen Zellfelder

Google has powerful voice control: OK Google, also known as the Google Assistant. These are the most important "OK Google" voice commands on Android, iOS, on Google Home or in the Chrome browser.

EnlargeYou can also use Google voice search on the desktop

With the voice command "Okay Google" you activate the powerful voice control Google Assistant. "Hey Google" is also possible, and if you don't want to keep saying "Google", you can get ahead with "Okay cake". Instead of laboriously typing commands or search queries, simply speak them into the microphone.

"OK Google" works with smartphones and tablets as well as with Google home devices. Both Android and iOS are supported, but the feature also works in Google Chrome on the desktop PC or notebook. You can even use Google voice control via Android Auto in the car.

With the Google Assistant, you can do a lot more than google nasty terms. With the right commands, "OK Google" can also help with more complex problems and tasks. In the following, we will reveal the most important commands that also work in German.

How to enable OK Google

On current Android smartphones and tablets, the Google Assistant is activated at the factory with the voice recognition "Ok Google". So as soon as you say "Ok Google", your phone is listening to you. To activate or deactivate speech recognition, navigate to in the Android settings Google - Account Services - Google Search, Google Assistant, and Voice Input - Voice Input - Voice Match . There you can deactivate or activate the "Ok Google" option using the slider.

With "Train Speech Model" you can set the Google Assistant to only respond to your voice. So you can also unlock many smartphones with your voice.

If it doesn't work, deactivate the speech recognition as above. you can also generally switch off (or activate) the Google Assistant. To do this, navigate to the Android settings Google - Account Services - Google Search, Google Assistant, and Voice Input - Google Assistant - Assistant - Assistant Devices - Smartphone and deactivate the item "Google Assistant" there.

By the way: Even if "Ok Google" is deactivated, the microphone appears in the Google search widget on the home screen.

Proceed similarly in the iPhone or iPad app. Open the Google app and tap your picture at the top. Scroll to the top and tap "Voice Search". Enable the option, then tap Done. From now on you can call up the voice search by tapping the microphone or by voice command "OK Google" on your iPhone or iPad.

In the Google Chrome browser, go to the Google Search website and then click on the microphone symbol on the far right in the input field. The first time, the Chrome browser will ask you for permission to access your microphone. After every click on the microphone icon, you can now search Google using voice commands.

Difference between using “Ok Google” on Android and iOS devices

On iPhones and iPads, you need to start the Google app in order to use Google's voice commands. This is not necessary with Android devices. The Google voice assistant is always active here, as is Siri on Apple devices. In general, however, the same commands are available for Android and iOS.

The more the voice assistant is used, the more it learns and recognizes the preferences of the user, his voice and the individual commands. In addition, the Google voice assistant can access the data of the Google account and the Google profile.

Google Assistant on Google Home

In addition to Android devices and iPhones / iPads, the assistant can also be used with Google Home devices and with Google Chromecast. You can also use this to control Netflix, Youtube and other streaming services. For example, with “Ok Google, play XX on Netflix”, the corresponding series or film can be started on Netflix.

Google Home and Google Home Mini in a practical test

Activate Voice Match and delete audio recordings

You can use Voice Match to teach the Android device to only listen to your personal voice when it comes to voice commands. You can then simply bypass the lock screen with a voice command and the device ignores commands from other users. To activate Voice Match, navigate to the item in the settings of the Google app Voice input or Voice and from there to Voice Match.

During the setup, Google permanently saves all audio recordings that you speak into the microphone during configuration. Even if you recalibrate the detection, old recordings are retained for the time being. To permanently delete the recordings, proceed as follows: Go to https://myactivity.google.com/ in the device browser. Navigate to Other Google activity - Registration for Voice Match and Face Match - Show data . You can now make your recordings with the function via the three-point menu Clear all eliminate it for good.

Good keyword recognition

The artificial intelligence of the Google Assistant recognizes desired commands from keywords. For example, if you say “Ok Google, what's my day?”, Google will notify you of the time, the current weather, your appointments in the Google calendar and will play messages. If you get information, you can create follow-up questions. For example, you can ask: "Hey Google, what's the name of the German Chancellor". You will receive “Angela Merkel” in response. If you then ask “How old is she”, it is a context question that builds on the previous answer. Google is very intelligent here.

The 45 most important commands for OK Google

Do you want to go home quickly with the help of Google Maps? Then just say “OK Google, I want to go home”. The prerequisite for this is of course that a home address is stored in Google Maps. You can find the fastest route by bike with this command: “OK Google, how long will it take me to get to ...?” By bike. And start the navigation with "OK Google, navigate to ...".

As you can see, the voice assistant from Google is quite intelligent and helps best if you have stored your data in the Google apps or if you connect different smart home devices at home that are compatible with the Google Assistant.

Voice commands for entertainment and social


Command example


"Call Max Mustermann"

Send email

"Send an email to Tim: Subject: Book tip, message: Have you read The Catcher in the Rye? Great book!"

play music

"Play music from AC / DC"

Find new music

"What albums are there from the Beatles?"

Query the length of a film

"Film length Mad Max"

Find out the author

"Who is the author of Lord of the Rings?"