One of Android Wear’s neatest features – whether with the Moto 360, Samsung Gear Live, LG G Watch, or another device – is the ability to trigger helpful features and actions using your voice. If you spend some time learning and memorizing the available voice command options, you’ll find it greatly expands the value, enjoyment, and usefulness of your new watch.
Voice commands are easy to initiate: simply tap your watch’s home screen once, or if you’re not on the home screen, say “Okay Google.” Now you’re ready to rock… here are 40+ Android Wear voice commands worth putting to use.
In addition to replying to incoming messages, you can initiate new text messages and e-mails by choosing a medium and speaking the contact’s name out loud.
This works best when you speak the name of a contact whose E-Mail address you have saved, but you can also speak the actual e-mail address out loud if it’s straight forward enough for Google to understand. Chances are an e-mail to your new penpal firstname.lastname@example.org won’t work.
- “Send a text to [Steve Albright]“
- “Email [Steve Albright]“
- “Call [Steve Albright]“
If you’re like me, you have a habit of either forgetting way too many things in your mental filing cabinet or e-mailing yourself one line messages as reminders when they randomly pop into your head. Now even the most forgetful folk can stay organized without pulling out their phone or typing a single word.
- “Take a note [Android Wear is awesome]“
- “Note to self [she likes sunflowers and her favorite color is orange]“
- “Remind me to [give mom her birthday gift]“
- “Remind me to [take my medicine] [at 1PM]“
- “Remind me to [call mom] when I’m at [home]“
Stay on schedule
Keeping organized has a lot to do with knowing what you have to do and when. Thankfully all Android Wear devices work with Google Calendar and have some built in functionality for time tracking. In addition to the Google Now notification cards, you can proactively stay on schedule with the following voice commands:
- “Wake me up in [5 hours]“
- “Agenda for today”
- “Set a timer for [30 minutes]“
- “Set an alarm for [7AM]“
- “Show alarms”
Travel & Navigation
Thought not shown in the video, Android Wear’s Call a Car feature is perhaps my favorite… when it works. Simply say the command and a connected service like Lyft will soon be at your beck and call. You can also find businesses, navigate to locations or contacts, and get information about hotel and flight reservations. Driving directions and navigation with Android Wear should be avoided… pedestrians only (safety first!).
- “Call a Car” (requests a Lyft ride)
- “Find [Dogwatch Tavern]“
- “Where is [Camden Yards]“
- “Navigate to [333 West Camden Street]“
- “Get directions to [Camden Yards]” …
- “Get walking directions to [Camden Yards]“
- “Get biking directions to [Camden Yards]“
- “Get driving directions to [Camden Yards]“
- “Get public transportation directions to [Camden Yards]“
- “What’s the traffic to [New York City]“
- “Where is my hotel?”
- “How far is [Boston] from [Baltimore?]“
Watches and wristbands like FitBit and Jawbone could be in serious trouble as Android Wear officially includes fitness features by default. The Samsung Gear Live adds a heart rate monitor and I’m sure more fitness oriented devices and apps will soon be on the way. You can already find services like RunKeeper offering Android Wear support.
- “Show me my steps”
- “Show me my heart rate”
- “Start stopwatch”
Don’t consider your Android Watch an entertainment device itself – the screen is far too small – but consider it a helpful gadget for facilitating entertaining experiences like finding movies and controlling to your music. Thought I wouldn’t be surprised if some enterprising Android Devs found a way to build a new generation of games that take the screen size and experience into consideration.
- “Play Music”
- “Listen to [Jay-Z]“
- “Listen to [99 Problems]“
- “What’s the closest [movie theatre]“
Get answers from Google
In many ways, Google Now and the Google Knowledge Graph have taken over the Google experience on Android Wear. The info is beamed directly to your watch when Google finds it is time appropriate, but don’t be afraid to ask for additional info. Here are some Google searches that yield beautiful, native-looking Android Wear responses.
- “When is sunset?”
- “What time is it in London?”
- “How’s the weather in Baltimore?”
- “Weather in Baltimore this weekend”
- “Where was Babe Ruth born”
- “What’s Google’s stock price?”
- “Translate [Hello] to [Spanish]“
- “Convert [7 pounds] to [grams]“
- “How old is Will Smith?”
- “Score of the Orioles game”
- “Orioles schedule”
- “What is the square root of 7,196″
Launch and control apps
Without nice big home screens to swipe around, finding and launching Android Wear apps on your watch could be a pain. Thankfully you can use the “Start [App Name]” command to launch wear capable apps directly or simply say “Start” to get a scrollable list of all available apps.
To demonstrate, we’ve listed some of our favorite Android Wear apps below… try downloading and launching with the “Start” command:
- Evernote Wear
- Fly Delta
- Google Keep
There are some less useful but fun things that Android Wear can do, too… and you may recognize these: they’ll work on your Android Phone, too.
- “Go Go Gadget [App Name]“ to launch an app
- “What is the Bacon number of [actor/actress]?”
- “What is the loneliest number?”
- “What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?”
This is a comprehensive list but the number of available voice commands will quickly expand as Google continues to grow Android Wear and developers integrate 3rd party support.
Share your favorite finds and most used Android Voice commands in the comments below!