Google Now Voice Actions

Add relationships to your contacts with simple voice actions to make hands-free calling and texting simpler.

Google Now is getting smarter and more useful by the day, and Google's latest development is in voice actions with relationships rather than people's names. Starting today, you can now use Google Now to call people with close relationships to you via voice command. For example, you can now simply say "Call Mom" or "Send a text to my wife" rather than using their full names. If you have yet to assign a relationship status to a contact, you'll get a simple on-screen prompt to assign contacts to the relationship.

If you're interested in setting up this capability on your own phone, it's an extremely simple process:

  • Open Google Now and tap the microphone button at the top (or use the "OK Google" hotword on the Nexus 5).
  • Simply say "Call my ..." appended by the person you wish to call (mom, brother, wife, grandfather, etc.).
  • If you have yet to assign a relationship to that name, you'll be prompted again to speak the person's name.
  • Tap to confirm the name, or pick from your contacts manually.
  • If there are multiple numbers associated with the contact, select your preferred number for voice dialing.

And that's it! From that point forward, you can use relationship names rather than people's names for voice actions. While we're sure there are more, we've found these actions to work with: mom/dad, girlfriend/boyfriend, sister/brother, cousin, grandmother/grandfather. Give it a try with calls and texts — it may save you some time the next time you need to make a hands-free communication.

Source: Google


Reader comments

How to: Tell Google Now who your mom (or dad) is



Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3 Maxx...!!!
(ZeroLemon 7000mA battery and ZeroShock Case)

Finally man! Lately I have been finding after Ice cream sandwich, google has become really slow in fixing things or making it a better experience. Just like a big boat that will hardly turn

What? Google Now has been constantly improving since it was released. Don't confuse them not including the features you want in updates with slow updates in general.

What happens of I say call my brother and I have more than one?

Posted via Android Central App on the New Nexus 7!

I think you're supposed to say, "Call my brother John," which might be different from "Call John" if you also have a friend named John

Nevermind, that doesn't work. Now when I say "Call my brother" it calls my older brother, but the only way I can call my younger brother is if I say his name. I manually set both their relationships to brother.

:/ I got two sisters... both younger. Even if that did work I'd still be out of luck, lol

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If Google is set to handle "relationship" + "first name" it can still save time. So instead of going "call Ben Qakflösdfölkaslösfkalföksdlöf" (yeah, you have a strange family name) or then Joe Qakflösdfölkaslösfkalföksdlöf" You could then just use "Call my brother Joe" or "Call my brother Ben". If it's not out now, maybe in the next update =)

Similar problem. Anyone know how to unlink Papa Gino’s (it's in my contacts) from “call my Dad”. It is very funny, but not my real DAD. There must be a way to set the relationship but where. "Call my mom" asked me to set the relationship, "Call my dad" just assumed my dad’s name was Gino.

I get the Papa Murphy's number when I say "Call my Dad". I haven't seen any info on how to edit these relationships. Kind of makes the feature not very useful right now.

I just tried this, and every time I said "Call Mom" or variations like "Call my Mother", it just guesses a contact that sounds similar and doesn't prompt me to set a contact...maybe I haven't gotten the update yet. Checked play store, nada.

Unfortunately Google thinks we all have divorced parents because there is no 'Mom and Dad' option..just one or the other.

Yeah.. I had to set parents contact name as Mom & Dad. Works that way.

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Hmm. That is so weird that Google thinks that your mom or your dad might have their own cell phone

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Admittedly, most parent's will, but it would be nice to have a way to differentiate between when I wanted to call their cell versus calling their landline. Yes, my parents still have a landline. It happens.

i set the name, the phone number, it calls, but doesn't save..

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Did Play Music launch and start playing Pearl Jam's "Alive" when you did that too?

Posted via Android Central App and Droid Mini

Heck, Google search was supposed to "fix" the voice dialing actions. Instead of that annoying "say name or number" in a robotic voice, it's supposed to go right to GNow using BT. Well it does, but only if the screen is unlocked, otherwise it goes to the stupid voice command. I'm using a Note 3 with S Voice turned off so it should work. Nada. Nope. And no how.

Sorry if this is off topic, but does anybody know about the legality of Google asking for a photo copy of one's ID and a utility bill /bank statement to verify our name. How is this even legal? Not Amazon or the App Store asks for such ridiculous personal items. But Google Play thinks they have a right to do this. I already have a credit card on file and and can't even charge apps to my Mobile account either. They told me that even if I bought a prepaid Google Play card, I still wouldn't be able to use it! Then Google and Developers wonder why people download pirated apps! I'm curious to know who else has run into this issue?

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Well it's true! I couldn't believe they wanted that after I spoke to them on the phone because I couldn't buy any apps... even when I had credit cards on file and my mobile service showed as a billing alternative. The Google Play rep sent me an email for me to send in a copy of my ID to verify who I was. Ridiculous considering I'm under contract with T-Mobile , 10 years now! When I got my first My Touch Android device I was able to make purchases. Not anymore! I made a request in the Android Central forum asking them to please make an article about this to see if anybody has gone through the same.

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It happened to me when someone hacked my account from mexico. I told them I wouldn't send anything with an account number like a bill. Turns our it just needs to be a document that has your name and address (one that has been used on your Google account). I used a jury summons from a previous address to be safe. A few minutes later, all was well with the world and I could use wallet again.

Posted via Android Central App

You can't bill to your carrier bill unless you are on cellular. You can not be on wifi or you wont have the bill to carrier option. I was helping a customer the other day and we figured it out together. Hehe - hope that helps!

I was stupid and accidentally saved my mom as both "mom" & "girlfriend". Anyone know how to remove one of the tags?

Posted from a Nexus 5

Smooth move, Oedipus.

Damn RustyU beat me to the punch!

Uhh, okay...

That is a complex situation you got their OP... a Freudian complex!

:D Lol, don't hate, I needed my own laugh

Posted via Telepathy, Android version 88.85.50 "Carne Asada"

Delete one of the contacts, then re input that contact. That should undo anything connected to the contact in question.

Posted via Telepathy, Android version 88.85.50 "Carne Asada"

My question is how do I get Google now to be my default search engine instead of the Samsung crop I'm stuck with on my note 3?

Posted via Android Central App

Open s voice and press menu and go to settings and uncheck svoice when double pressing home key option. Hope that helps!

Like robotaholic said, Go into SVoice and disable the double press option.

THEN, download "Home2Shortcut" from the Play Store (it's free). It allows you to set one action for single press, and a different action for double press. After installing, when you press "Home" it will ask what app. Select "Home2Shortcut" and choose "Always". Then, Home2Shortcut options will pop up. Select the launcher you want to use as your single press app, and "Voice Search" as your double press app.

Now, you can double press the home button and jump straight to Google Now's voice search. :)

Why not go into apps on your phone and select Google Now app ? It was in the apps that came preloaded on my Verizon LG G2 or if Google Now didn't come preloaded on your Samsung just download Google Now from the play store .

They should have a relationship option in People. That way I could save my mom's name instead of making her contact "mom"

Posted via Android Central App

There is. Just edit the contact and select "add another field." One of the options is relationship.

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Excellent. Combine this with Home2Shortcut, and you've got some epic hands free capability. Thanks a ton, man!

Does any one know how to unlink a contact? I selected my wife's wrong contact card and now its stuck saying no phone number found even after joining the 2 contacts

Posted via Android Central App

Please tell me how. I did the same thing with my husband and I can't undo it. I've tried deleting and readding the correct one, to no avail.

Posted via Android Central App on my Big Red LG G2

I had to uninstall the update and reinstall it to fix it.

Posted via Android Central App on my Big Red LG G2

can some one tell me how to make my wife's cell the default instead of it always asking me with number of heres to use? In her contact card there is a check mark next to the mobile number and says its the default, but every time I tell the phone "Call my Wife" it always asks which number to use...

Same here it keeps asking me if I want to call her cell ot her work... Lame sauce...

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I'll tell you how to call your wife's cell phone if you tell me how to unlink Papa Ginos as my dad.

Deleting Papa Gino's and setting the proper relationship works but as soon as I put Papa Gino's back it asks me which dad. Anyone know where the relationship information is stored or amendable?

It's only half working for me. It never saves my preference, so when I say 'call home' it makes me choose a contact every single time. Same with 'call dad' or 'call mum'. I've tried it loads of times, but no luck.

I try to pull up "my wife" this way and instead it calls up some guy I have circled in Google+ who has a name with a spelling similar to the word "wife". How do I fix this?

This works great directly from Google Now, but not through Touchless Control on my Moto X. When I say "Call my mom" via Touchless Control using the "Ok Google Now" hot word, it keeps thinking I want to call my friend named Aman.

I guess Touchless Control will have to be updated to support this?

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Thank you - I couldn't figure out why this wasn't working for me. I didn't realize that Touchless Control operated differently than Google Now directly.

Only works for my mom. When I say "call my wife" out brings up a selection and asks me who I want to call?

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I've always had my mom under contacts as "mom", yet touchless control (aka Google Now) never recognizes what I'm saying and gives me a list of other contacts that don't sound anything like mom. I don't have a funny accent and I've tried numerous pronunciations, but it still gets it completely wrong every time.

Well, now you can label the contact with her actual name, and use Google Now by speaking "call mom" to pull up her contact entry, or dial her phone number.

Posted via Android Central App

Why would I want to do that? My contact list is for my benefit, not Google's nor anyone else's.

Posted via Android Central App

Is this a US only thing? I'm in Canada and I got the option to opt in. But when I say call my mom or dad it just asks to pick a contact and calls them. Doesn't ask who's mom? Etc

Posted via Android Central App

Thank u for teaching these guys. Basement dwellers need to call for more hot pockets.

posted with a galaxy note 3. h8ers gon' h8. live2win#swagface#switchedOn*_*

Have tried many times call wife it asks me to select contact which I do and it call but next time need same thing all over!

Just to clarify: when you say call mom etc it should ask you who is mom? If it simply asks to pick a contact, the feature is not working on your device. The pick a contact question is for the any word or name that isn't recognized.

Unfortunately this is the group I'm in.

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Now we need an option to turn on hotword detection while driving/connected to bluetooth. It's a great app and works very well for hands-free calling but I don't like leaving the HD on all the time. Kills the battery.

Wait, who doesn't list their Mom in their contacts as Mom? Do people really put their parents full name in their contacts instead of Mom or Dad?

I'll assume, with that screen name, that your question and tone are meant to be ironic. But, to answer: Yep. I also don't have contacts named "sister" or "boss" or "work", or any with a first name only. In fact, I file my contacts last name first. The horror! to each his own, Socrates might say.

Does this not work with contacts that are synced with a service other than Google? I use office 365 via activesync, and when I tell Google Now to "call dad", it prompts me to choose a contact, takes me to my contacts to choose, and when I tap my dad, it just goes back to the home screen without calling. And also doesn't remember that I chose that contact. Galaxy s 5.

Okay, I've added my mom and dad and a cousin. How do I add another cousin or anyone with the same title more than once?

Posted via Android Central App