“Ok Google…how do you work?”

That Moto X, Moto G, and Moto E of yours all have the incredibly cool ability to listen to you when you speak. Simply by saying, “Ok Google…” or “Ok Google Now…” your phone can respond to certain commands. You can also record your own custom voice pattern that it can recognize.  Heck, it’ll even talk back to you sometimes and read your texts aloud. But how do you know what commands it responds to? We’ve pulled together a huge list, with even a few fun surprises that gave us a laugh. Just replace whatever’s in between the brackets [ ] with whatever you’re interested in. Check em out:

Basic Info:OkGoogleNow_900x900.png

  • How old is [the Dalai Lama]?
  • Where was [Abraham Lincoln] born?
  • Define [revelatory] (Or “What does [revelatory] mean?”)
  • What time is it in [France]?
  • Search for [cooking tips].
  • Show me pictures of [the Italian countryside].
  • Do I need an umbrella today? Do I need a jacket? What’s the weather like? What’s the weather in [New York] [this weekend]?
  • What’s the [Red Hat] stock price? What is [Uber] trading at?
  • What’s [15 yards] in [miles]? What is [16 ounces] in [liters]?
  • What’s [180] divided by [6]? (tons of math equations work.)
  • What’s up? (tells you what is new on your notification bar.)

Smartphone control:

  • Open [Republicwireless.com].
  • Take a picture or Take a photo.
  • Record a video.
  • Open [Pandora].

Getting stuff done:

  • What’s the tip for [148 dollars]?
  • Set an alarm for [8:30 am].
  • Set a timer for [15 minutes].
  • Create a calendar event: [Lunch with mom, Wednesday at noon].
  • Remind me to [buy a birthday gift at 11am] (Locations also work. Try saying: Remind me to [buy a birthday gift at The Lego Store at 11am].)
  • What is my schedule for tomorrow? (also: What does my day look like [Monday]?)
  • Where’s my package? (*Note: This only works if your package tracking info is stored in your Gmail)
  • Make a note: [pay my bills]. (You can also try “Note to self: “)
  • Find [Susan Gilespie’s] [phone number]. (Works with all info in your contacts – addresses, birthdays, etc.)

Communication:       

  • Call [Fred] (also works with relationships: Call [brother].)
  • Text [Fran] [Hey! Thanks for inviting me to the party. I had a blast!] (also works with relationships: Text [Dad] [Sorry for wrecking the car…Please don’t ban me from the house].)
  • Send email to [Luke Skywalker], subject, [Using the force], message, [Trust your instincts. Do or do not! There is no try].
  • Post to [Twitter]: [Way to be a Jedi Luke! Thanks for dealing with that Vader jerk].

Travel:

  • Where is the nearest [Mexican restaurant]?
  • Navigate to [Centennial Campus, Raleigh].
  • Directions to [Umstead Park] by [foot] (also try “Directions home” or “How do I get home?”).
  • Where is [Empire State Building]?
  • Show me the menu for [American Meltdown].
  • Call [the NC Museum of Art].
  • Show me my flight info.
  • Where’s my hotel?
  • What are some attractions around here?
  • How do you say [good night] in [Portuguese]?
  • What is [100 pesos] in [dollars]?
  • What’s the flight status of [Jet Blue] flight [932]?
  • Show me restaurants near my hotel -or- Give me directions back to my hotel (*Note: only works if your hotel confirmation info was sent to your Gmail account).                                    

Are you not entertained?!

  • Play some music (opens “I’m feeling lucky” radio station in Google Play Music).
  • Next Song / Pause Song.
  • Play [Happy] (songs must be in Google Play Music on your device).
  • Watch [Game of Thrones] (movies and TV shows must be in your Google Play account).
  • What’s this song?
  • Listen to TV.
  • What songs do [The Black Keys] sing?
  • Read [The Forever War].
  • Did the [Cubs] win today? What’s the score in the [Mets] game?
  • What movies are playing [tonight]? Where is [Guardians of the Galaxy] playing?

Fun surprises:

Make sure to turn your sound up for these…

  • What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?
  • What is the loneliest number?
  • It can also do math: What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything minus the loneliest number?
  • What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
  • Do a barrel roll!
  • Askew / Tilt.
  • Go go Gadget [Spotify].
  • When am I?
  • Make me a sandwich.
  • Sudo make me a sandwich.
  • Who’s on first?
  • Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right.
  • Tell me a joke.
  • Who are you?
  • Beam me up, Scotty!
  • What is [Jennifer Lawrence’s] Bacon number? (as in “seven degrees of Kevin Bacon”).
  • What does the fox say?

So there you have it. These commands should keep you talking to your phone for days. Please feel free to add any commands you come across in our comments section below. Thanks and happy talking.

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6 thoughts on ““Ok Google…how do you work?””

      1. Hi ajmaphone! May I ask for some more tips? I want to be the first Republic Megastar…Do you have any tips on what type of picture I should submit or what I should say in the “few words” I am supposed to provide? I’ve written up something, but any advice you have would be greatly appreciated!

  1. I wish “Ok Google” worked as good as your article. For example, “Navigate to [friend’s name in contact list] home” only brings up a Google search of unrelated people.

    My friends sat around at lunch using their Siri and Cortana phones to “Tell me a joke”. Worked great. My Moto X 2nd Gen could only bring up a Google search. What a joke.

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