Google’s New Voice Search Update

Google Voice Search Commands

Perhaps you’ve seen the new Droid Maxx commercial “48 Hours” staring Edward Norton.  At first glance it seems like a trailer for a new Fight Club movie (Awesome!), but no, it’s a mini-movie branding the new Droid phone with the slogan “It’s not a toy, it’s a Droid.”  I can only imagine the marketing department in a think tank deciding on the right actor, an actor that looks good with a black eye. (Oh, Oh, I got it, Edward Norton!)

Ok Google… How do I use this?

While the commercial is produced by Verizon, it heavily highlights Google’s new hands-free commands.  (Which may come in handy if you end up as a prisoner in the Deep South, hanging upside down in a shack.)  Google has had voice search on mobile devices for some time now, but this latest update allows you to skip that tedious and time consuming step of pressing a button first. (The time saved is estimated to add 3 years to the average life.)  Now, once your load the Google Search app, all you need to say is, “OK, Google” and it perks up with a beep ready to search for you.  (Actually, very cool.)

Google’s new voice search update, as seen on TV with Mr. Norton, goes nicely with the recent Hummingbird Algorithm update as it places more relevant emphasis on the words you are using.  For example when you say “Ok, Google, What is the traffic like today?”  Google understands that you are looking for traffic information near your current location or where your travel to frequently.  (Google knows you better than your mom.)  Or “Ok, Google, What is the 2012 Titans record?”  Google understands, based on your location and previous search history that you are probably talking about the Tennessee Titans NFL team and not the Detroit Titans Women’s Lacrosse.  (FYI – The 2012 Women’s Titans Lacrosse team won 8 and lost 9.)

Ok Google, voice command features

Here is a good list of things you can ask Google to do for you.

Google Web Search Commands

“Ok, Google…”

– Open []

– Go to []

– Show me []

Google Sports Search Commands

“Ok, Google…”

–          What was the score of the [sports team] last night?

–          When do the [team] play next?

–          Did [my team] win last week?

Google Maps Search Commands

“Ok, Google…”

–          Show me a map of [Nashville TN]

–          Navigate to [Matt Cutts house]

–          How far is it from [Nashville] to [Istanbul]

–          Show me nearby [fast food restaurants] on the map

Google Notes and Reminders Search Commands

“Ok, Google…”

–          Remind me [My boss goes out of town] on [Friday]

–          Also set alarm for [7am] instead of [6am]

–          Remind me [when I arrive to work, send my boss an email]

–          Note to self [Buy some cool socks to take pictures of]

Communication Search Commands

“Ok, Google…”

–          Call [Santa]

–          Send [text message] to my wife’s mobile, I miss you.

–          Send [email] to William, I like your socks.

Google Weather Search Commands

“Ok, Google…”

–          Is it going to snow tomorrow?

–          What will the weather be like in [Houston on Saturday]

–          What is the temperature like [at 5pm today]

Google General Search Commands

“Ok, Google…”

–          Search for [] Warning – This could cause your phone to stop working.

–          Who wrote the book [Fight Club]

–          How do you Say [I may have rabies] in [German]

After playing around and having fun with this for a while, it can actually be very useful.  There are hundreds of other commands or different ways to say these commands that Google will recognize and produce results.  And they are also constantly adding new phrases and commands to their database.  I would love to hear comments on interesting “Ok, Google” commands you’ve discovered.

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