Android Google search by voice

One of the shining features of Android is its ability to understand what you want. Case in point: the voice-to-text feature. You speak, it listens. Here's a quick tip for an easy Google search. Hold down the search button on your phone. A window will pop up telling you to "Speak now." Do so, and Google will automagically search for whatever you said. Go ahead. Try it.

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Hold search button for voice search

36 Comments

This was one of the first "holy cow!" features I discovered that made me believe Android was something truly special. It totally amazes people when I do this in front of them the first time ("What? Your phone does THAT??!?").

Same here, I saw voice search and I thought "sweeeeet!"
A friend of mine was playing with the phone and he discovered voice search in other apps like Maps, surprised me again!

interestingly this is also a shortcut for quick settings. thanks for the tip because i always wanted shortcut for that program

I have a program called Quick Settings that allows me to access all the phone's settings with one touch (i.e., notification volume, ringer volume, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, Airplane mode). Holding the search button gives you the option of either voice search or accessing Quick Settings.

they should have expanded on the tip though, such as keywords like "Navigate to", will initiate turn by turn navigation.

next tip, power button! lol

Oh my goodness!!!! THANK YOU for this "navigate to" tip...I wish I'd known this weeks ago. I thought it was awesome already, but this just took the cake. I just tested it and find it MUCH faster than going through the other steps and far better than dealing with the voice address info of Sprint's Navigation.

Can anyone direct me to a listing of these available commands? I don't recall seeing them in the manual for Evo.

I'm editing this comment to avoid comments by the rude idiots who post on here about a topic they didn't have to read about or comment on. As I scrolled past this posting, I saw more of them.

I'm a good example of someone who reads it but doesn't remember everything! I know the button. I've used it, but I don't know every command that I could use. Thanks to the poster for this particular one!!! If there are anymore not easily found out there, I know I as well as others might appreciate it :-)

I usually skip or brief over the 101 articles, but I look sometimes to see if there's anything I didn't know though it may seem obvious. That is why I like these postings from time to time.

Thanks, Android Central. I appreciate it.

Note: if you have other voice-enabled apps installed (like Edwin) or other apps coded to use the long-press on search (like Power Strip) you'll get prompted to choose an app instead of being prompted to speak. Choose "Voice Search" for the experience described in the post above.

I have this problem after installing Evernote though I cannot figure out how you solve this. Where do I have to choose "Voice Search". When I type it into my HTC Z no results are popping up. Is it possibvle that I don't have installed this application?

I have the problem where i've installed another app that uses the long-press on search, an app that takes picture of bar codes. How can I undo this and return to the "Voice Search" upon long-pressing search?

What's with all these painfully obvious tips coming through the RSS feeds? Sure doesn't seem like a slow period for Android related news. I've had this phone for over 6 months now -- I figured this one out on Day 2.

I think I saw a post a few days back about how to change wallpapers. I have a hard time believing that many Android Central readers don't know how to change their wallpaper. That was probably a Day 1 -- perhaps HOUR 1 -- discovery.

If these tips are intended for an audience of folks who just got their phone, can you please create a separate RSS for them, or perhaps a separate one for those of us who want the great news/articles you publish, but are not interested in this type information?

Sorry if this is coming off negatively -- just finding these articles to be annoying.

I'm not looking for anything -- I'm subscribed to the same Android Central RSS Feed I've always been on. It's only recently this foolishness started coming through.

We publish between 10 and 15 stories a day. Sometimes more. You have my explicit permission to not read these if you're a more advanced user. For everybody else who's new to Android, welcome, and hope you learn something! :)

Any chance you might consider at least omitting tips that are found in the quick guide/user manual boxed with all Android devices?

Cuz seriously, if someone's not going to bother to RTFM why should the rest of us have to be subjected to stuff that we already know because we bothered to read the little quick start guide that came in the box? like, say, oh for example, the functions of the hardware buttons on your phone!

Only tech snobs read the quick guides that come in the box with something they spend money on? Ooohhkaaayyyy.

And you sir sound like a rude jackass.

Usually I'd agree with you, but I have two real world experiences that lead me to say that this, while not necessary, is at least helpful to at least 30% of the readers here. First off, i have never known about holding search for voice. i always did it manually, and I'm a very avid forum reader and user of my phone (got an X on launch day).

Second, a friend of mine who has had a Droid since last November, while show me his phone last weekend, had never known about home screen widgets before until I showed him (He liked the beautiful widgets clock I had and was curious how I got it, that's how the conversation started).

So i think some basic features of Android need to be shown for newer users or people who don't play with their phone for hours on end. Also, it's good to have things like this to show Blackberry or iPhone users some of the simple, cooler features of Android.

While I don't like it clogging my feed, I can learn to live with it in order to make a better community, hopefully other can too.

Yeah, except that the functions of the hardware buttons on the phone don't take hours of playing with your phone to discover. It takes only 10 minutes spent reading the quick guide/user manual that came in the box with the phone!

How is teaching anything to anyone ever foolishness? Wether you learn something or not, you're not the only person reading the site. For every "annoyed" reader I would think there's three people that benefit from these posts.

Keep 'em coming.

Hey: I just got a Samsung Vibrant two days ago. First droid phone. Came from a Blackberry. This is ALL new and exciting. My mind can only absorb so much. Reading these tips are AMAZINGLY helpful.

Yes, I HAVE been reading the manual, but I try to scan, and of course, miss stuff. I did NOT know about the video search. I tried it and was not able to make it work UNTIL I read this article. And, I just accidently found this forum.

Really, some of the hints might seem old and boring to you, but to some of us it is like finding gold, and I always have an "aha!" moment after some of these.

Keep these great tips coming!

Some other voice commands that I know work:

"call x" - calls contact named 'x'
"directions to x" - looks up directions to x, where x is a place name or an address
"navigate to x" - launches navigation to x, where x is a place name or an address

And here's another nice one. As I knew it, the "search" button was just for that and not calling. I can't get Voice Dialer to do some basic names like "Call Mom" but this just worked. I tried it because of your post. THANK YOU.

I haven't been simply saying "directions to" but rather just saying the name of the place and then navigating search results to click and then bring up directions. This and "navigate to" earlier just cut out all that frustrating time in my travels. Thanks Again.

First i would like to say thank you for the tips. Then i would like to ask if this ANDROID 101 will be something that you guys night want to add to the Android Central bar at the top like Rooting? I am sure that there are many people new to ANDROID that would find this information useful. From what i have read and seen there are many who would probably contribute to it as well. Yes i am a newbie to Android, don't even have my phone yet but i will soon and i am very glad that this information is being put out here for those of us that do not know yet.

Thank you

OK, here a pro tip for Droid X users.

Double click the home button will bring up the whole list of commands you can do. If someone wants to type the whole list up here be my guest. I'm currently at work, working hard. =)

Ok, so... what am I doing wrong? It all works except "call x" - that ALWAYS does an internet search. It is because my contact info is all in Google?

On the DRIOD, keep the slider closed when holding the search button...or it will not launch voice search but expect you to key text manually...FYI.

Anyone looking for a list of all of the search items google voice search will do can find it at http://www.google.com/mobile/voice-actions/

It has pictures and a video and everything. I just got my EVO a couple days ago and just found out I could do all this by long pressing the search button... oops. I guess I should have RTFM eh? :)