“Ok Google” has been removed from the Galaxy S6, and no one knows why


Samsung Galaxy S6 DSC09342

One of the best features of the Google search app is the ability to perform a search from anywhere by saying “Ok Google.” In fact, it was one of our 7 cool tricks every Android phone user should know. Unfortunately, not every Android user is able to take advantage of this feature anymore.

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge users across the web and in Android Forums have recently been complaining about the removal of “Ok Google” from everywhere. Instead they are only able to say “Ok Google” from within the Google search app, which defeats the purpose of using the voice command.

At launch the “Ok Google” from everywhere feature was working just fine. It wasn’t until just recently that the option was removed. Right now no one seems to know why it was removed, or who is to blame. The obvious culprit would be Samsung. S-Voice is their own version of “Ok Google,” and it still works perfectly in the background from everywhere.

Another theory is that the feature was removed along with the latest update to improve battery life. Yet another theory claims it has something to do with the 64-bit Exynos processor. The only thing we know for sure is that no one knows why the feature was removed. Are you experiencing this same issue on your S6 or S6 Edge? Join the ongoing conversation in Android Forums.

Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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  1. I don’t mind it for now since I hardly use Now, but if Google could make cards appear at the top like iOS does, that would be nice.

    1. I don’t know about touchwiz (Samsung’s UI overlay), but in stock Android it can do that with notifications and the like. They drop down from the top momentarily.

      1. Well, I have cards appear in notifications, but not a tabbed option.

        1. You mean to always have them there? Doesn’t the notifications settings in Lollipop allow you to make it a priority which would keep it there?

          I use Viper Audio Mod and have an everlasting notification to get to the app quickly if the OS kills it. In Lollipop, I was able to set it to always have that app on top no matter the notifications I had.

          Is that what you’re referring to?

          If you mean to always have the cards there, then I don’t see why they would when there’s the Google Now Launcher and widgets. Unless you just preferred them there. But that’s a cluttered mess to me. LoL!!

          1. I mean like a tabbed option like iOS, where it says notifications, then today on the side.

  2. I actually had this problem just recently when I just upgraded my note 4 to lollipop. I couldn’t figure out what was going on and none of the solutions that I found fixed it then one day it started to work again.

  3. It’s Sammy competing with Google for voice commands and the customer loses.

    1. If this is the case I will be returning the phone just out of principle. My phone and no one will tell me what I can and can’t do with it. Especially when it was working just fine. Bs

      1. Especially when they are $800 phones. This is just an assumption on my part, but it seems a reasonable assumption given the lack of any other info.

      2. I can’t do that myself since my S6E buyer’s remorse just ended on Friday.

        1. You have fallen into their trap.

  4. Weird… I knew it was there before, but now it is gone

  5. Google Setting –> Voice –> “OK Google” detection –> From any screen should be turned on. That’s how I had to fix it on my G3.

    1. “From Any Screen” is what’s missing now.

      1. So they removed the option under the settings, eh? LG just disabled it when Lollipop dropped onto it. Dumb!!!!

  6. Doesn’t matter to me …I speak into my Moto 360 anyway lol

    1. Right!? OMG!! Best money spent!! Yea, I guess you can say we’re early adopters, but if you have the extra funds laying around and looking for a new toy, I would always suggest a smart watch.

    2. I agree as well. I got one for the Holidays and I didn’t think I would use it. I use it all time.

  7. Still works on my Galaxy S6. I’m using Nova Launcher – could that be the difference?

    1. I use Nova and it doesn’t even give me the option in settings anymore.

    2. You don’t understand the problem being discussed.

    3. Yeah, my mistake. It only works from Nova home, not from everywhere.

  8. Can’t you just use the Google Now Launcher?

    1. That’s not the same as OK Google EVERYWHERE. I can be in the calendar app or the browser and use the OK Google to do something.

    2. The issue was you were once able to use the command anywhere, not in specific apps.

  9. Mine has been turned off on my verizon S6.

  10. The feature was still there for me, until yesterday, when my phone decided to go into an inexplicable bootloop fit, that only a factory reset rectified. And then, the feature option was gone.

  11. It stopped working for me, but then i re-trained it for my voice and it is working again.

  12. Could it also be that when it’s disabled that the phone now gets a little better battery life? Has anyone seen battery life change since G-Now has disappeared?

    1. It seems logical. No process running in the background always listening.

      On a side note, I shut off S Voice after day 1 on both S line phones I have had… never used it. Novelty at best.

  13. Mine works fine, but only if I have the Google search bar on the desktop. It resides on my home screen, and works there… no pressing any buttons or opening Google search explicitly. If I swipe to the other screens where I the search bar widget doesn’t reside, then it does not work.

    1. Did you even read the article?

      1. Even if he didn’t, you can’t prove it! LOL

    2. Reading is fundamental.

      1. Yes, and as long as we’re playing “Who can be a more pedantic @rse40Le” allow me to give it a shot. There are two distinctions that speak to the ease of “OK Google”. One is the “everywhere” aspect, the other is the “hands free” aspect. I specifically made note that the “everywhere” component did not work, but that as long as I was on a homescreen with the google search widget sitting there, that the “hands free” component did work. I need to nothing more than speak the two words “ok google” and the phone starts listening. As a matter of fact, on my S6, it has never worked such that you could just say “ok google” from any screen or phone state. It has always been tied to the existence of the Google widget on the homescreen. So yeah, I read the article, and then I clearly stated what my phone does. Happy?

        1. The phone did have the ability for “OK Google” from anywhere, as long as the screen was on and the phone unlocked. It is in no way tied to the “Ok Google” widget on the homescreen. This is the feature that has been taken away, and this is the feature the article was talking about

          1. Mine never has, and I got it the day after they came out.

          2. Then you are extremely unaware of what is on your phone… because it has been there on mine all along, and I got mine the day before it came out (no joke)

          3. I’m quite informed on my phone thanks. I specifically tested that very feature the day I received it. But thanks for thinking you know better!

          4. Ha ha that is pretty funny, even though there are several articles out there (including this one) saying that you are wrong

          5. Ha ha ha! I arguing with a fourteen year old. I need to re-evaluate my decisions in life. Have a great day.

          6. You know he’s right though. You look stupid.

          7. I’m glad all of you know so much more about what I did to test out my phone the first day i got it. Care to prove to me I didn’t eat what I think I did for dinner last night too?

      2. I get that the aspergers quotient is a bit higher among us techies, but let’s try not to be dicks to one another for simply sharing information.

  14. Yep… I know when it happened too. I got an google app update and play service update a week ago late Thursday; and it disapeared. For the record the battery was terrible AFTER the update then another play services update was available the next day and it helped the battery but the ok google was gone still.

    1. Not directly tied to those updates. I had all of my apps and services updated and “OK google” still worked from everywhere for me for 2 weeks, until yesterday when my phone bootlooped and I had to factory reset, lost the function after the factory reset.

      1. I guess not but that’s when it happened for me. Oh well maybe there will be an explanation sometime soon.

  15. Btw… Im actually starting a full reset today with no backup just in case because the play services was an apk and not thru the store so its the last thing i can think of on my end.

  16. Finally someone is bringing this up to the masses……

  17. shouldn’t this work still by just using another launcher like Nova Launcher and enabling it within the launcher?

    1. Defeats the purpose. It’s part of Android .. if Samsung wants to screw with something then let them screw with Tizen.

      1. Google did it…it’s a bug. Next.

  18. On the contrary, we all know exactly why…

  19. Well that’s because they next OTA will be Tizen…. :o

    1. LOL! That will be the day of many violent riots.

      1. coming from Samsung, that seriously wouldn’t surprise me

      2. Would it really, though? It’s a scary thought, but think about it. If Tizen looked like TouchWiz on Android does now, who would notice?

        Us people. Consumers wouldn’t care. However, this could be a good. People may realize it was Android they liked and not Samsung. But I feel that’s far-fetched.

        1. yeah it really would. have you compared the tizen store to google play recently? it’s amusing…

          or do you realize that removing android would also necessarily (per google licensing agreements) mean removing google maps, google search, gmail, google play books, music, etc.

          so yeah, violent riots…

          1. Well, yea. That’s why I said “us people”. My mom uses Google search and Google maps, both which can be replaced. I don’t think the rioters would be a very large crowd.

            When I’m helping people with their phone at work, hardly anyone is talking advantage of the Google services. And I know they aren’t because one person asked me how to back up their photos. Excuse me? *sigh*

            That’s what we IT people are here for. LoL!!

          2. Doing such a thing might bring about the fall of civilization, if not the apocalypse. Google wouldn’t do it. After all their motto is “Don’t be Evil…like those bastards at Samsung.”;)

          3. Hmmm…I wonder how iOS users enjoy all of those apps…

          4. well when google maps was (briefly) pulled there were widespread riots…

          5. Google Maps was never pulled from iOS. Apple stopped using Google Maps to power its Maps app. Google released a standalone app within 2 weeks.

          6. you’re arguing semantics. it was available and was suddenly not. so pulled. and it wasn’t a 2 week period. it was more like 3-4 months and only after intense pressure and a whole lot of embarrassing press for apple

  20. I know sometimes some apps prevent it. Namely Norton security on my phone if I allow the app store scanner it prevents voice activation. Check accessibility to make sure no apps are enabled.

  21. Maybe because they have hi galaxy it works pretty good. I think like most of you you don’t like anything taken away from you, so the first thing I would do is download Google launcher and see if you got it back. And if you don’t oh well, welcome to hi galaxy. of course I don’t have to worry about this because I’m on the Nexus 6 is it?., you know the big six inch flablit.

    1. Samsung S-voice is SO inferior it is not even worth mentioning in the same breath.

      1. S-voice….inferior….no works for me.

    2. So exactly how does Samsung alter an app by Google and get that update into the Play store? They don’t, because that’s impossible. The feature’s removal coincides with a Play Services update.

      Also, we’ve been dealing with this for 2 weeks. We’ve already explored low hanging fruit like installing the Google launcher. Google launcher doesn’t fix the problem.

      And no, we don’t consider S Voice to be the solution either. The only answer is for Google to acknowledge the problem and resolve it.

  22. Still got it on my S6 here in the UK

  23. hmm.. this along with the removal of glove mode is giving me a reason NOT to get a S6 now.

  24. Some of us have been discussing this issue for some time already on the Google product forum. https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/websearch/xGiV6D4PMS8%5B1-25%5D

    The consensus is that this is Google that has disabled it, not Samsung. I cannot attest to that, but even @SamsungSupport on Twitter says that Google has made this a “feature” in the last update. We still cannot get an answer from Samsung or Google.

    But there still seems to be some real misconceptions running in the thread here. If I am typical, I can get OK Google to work form the home screen in TouchWiz and even from every screen in Nova Launcher or Google Now launcher. But that’s only because the WIDGET is there on each screen. It is not really ‘hands free’.

    More to the point if you go into Google Now settings, where there was once a setting to enable “from any screen” and also settings to train a voice models and delete a voice model – those options NO LONGER APPEAR.

    So the issue is that true functionality from ANY screen is not there, and cannot be set up because the option to set it up has been removed. It WAS there for those of us that had our S6’s for a few weeks but it is now gone.

    And no one is admitting who took it away and why.

    1. Google disabled it because they tired of Samsung and their BS. Tryna be like Amazon with their heavily skinned OS. Google ain’t playin’ them games. If they don’t want to use Google services on their phone, then Google will remove them one, by one. Samsung goin’ learn not to trifle with Google.

      #JustFanboyRants #NotALogicalArgument

      1. Your tag #NotALogicalArgument speaks volumes

      2. Thanks for that useless reply.

  25. I just “Ok Googled” on my Nexus 6 about this and according to it “Samsung is evil and builds inferior products with tiny batteries that sacrifice functionality for style.”

    Well I can’t say its a surprise;)

    1. You have a Nexus 6, which has an inferior display and camera…

      1. Lol you get all the nexus 6 owners jumping on here to validate their purchase. Inferior hardware with really poor build quality.


      3. The display was most likely manufactured by Samsung, and the camera hardware is a top of the line Sony IMX214.

        The camera software, yes, as Google tends to go for open-source solutions. We’ll call it Reference Software. I’m sure there are 3rd party apps that provide better results with closed-source or proprietary image processing/post-processing.

        1. Samsung makes a lot of displays, as does LG. Moto and/or Google chose the old AMOLED displays from years ago, cutting corners. They also did not calibrate the colors very well. Regardless of what the problems are with the camera…it isn’t good. You should be able to point and shoot and get good pictures.

          1. Years ago? What? I think you’re just assuming; what QHD AMOLED panel was available years ago? Samsung serves no one by restricting displays, but they may limit the newest manufacturing methods for their own displays in Samsung phones to maintain an edge. That’s anti-competitive, but whatever, it’s their choice.

            Most color calibration on Samsungs is done via software because the nature of AMOLEDs is oversaturation, though improvements in materials/organics and manufacturing processes have improved AMOLEDs markedly.

          2. Moto should have this. On Samsung phones, you choose your saturation. See below.

          3. Since the Nexus 6 is AOSP, Google would have to implement it into stock Android. It wouldn’t be a bad idea. Though the profiles need to be calibrated for the display in use.

            A database of sRGB calibrations submitted by manufacturers sounds easy enough.

      4. 6 inch display QHD is plenty good enough for my tastes, better than a 5.1 inch screen.

        1. All QHD displays ARE NOT created equal. The Nexus 6 display is horrible. I would like to know how that 6″ screen is so much better. I had a Note 4, with a 5.7″ display. I now have an S6 with a 5.1″ display. I tested them side by side. The same amount of content shows on both displays. The only difference is that the content on the bigger screen was blown up comically big. Then there’s the Nexus 6…

    2. I mean the hardware isn’t bad at all. So, I guess maybe inferior in software?? But, personally I’m happy with my s6 edge. Still. DAT stock.???

  26. (looks at his Nexus 6 appreciatively)

    1. DAT screen…DAT camera…ewww

      1. The Nexus 6 doesn’t use Digital Audio Tapes. You must be thinking of some other device.

      2. Not a huge fan of AMOLED displays, but the camera has been great for me.

    2. Me too buddy, me too…

      1. So glad I didn’t go with Samsung. I was actually on the fence for a while there.

        1. I returned the S6 last weekend and couldn’t be happier that I did. Great phone for Samsung fans but not really for anyone else. Glad I gave it a shot ’cause you never really know till you try new things. But all it really did is reinforce my love for stock Android. Never again.

          1. My last non stock android phone was the HTC sensation, and before that was the Samsung Galaxy vibrant. I made the decision to stay with stock since then and I couldn’t be happier.

        2. Don’t get me wrong, the hardware is great (minus the physical and capacitive buttons), but to me the software pales in comparison to stock. But everyone has their preferences. Mine happens to be the Nexus.

          Also I LOVE the Nexus 6 design a lot more.

  27. Maybe they’re trying to help the horrid battery life by disabling this background service?

    1. That would be only the T-Mobile variant. My Verizon S6 gets as good as my Note 4…almost 6 hours of screen on time. See below.

  28. If there is anything that sounds more dumb than talking to your phone, it’s initiating the conversation with “OK Google”.

    1. What phrase would you prefer?

  29. I’m so tired of finding reasons to hate something.

  30. *Samsung disabled this feature, not Google. This issue isn’t new to the Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge. I have the Sprint Galaxy Note 4 & noticed this after the Lollipop 5.0 update. After asking Samsung about it, they only confirmed that OK Google everywhere (Google Now always on) was removed with the update but didn’t state why. After extensively researching this, the only way to re-enable Google Now Always On voice command is to disable S Voice by going into Settings/Application Manager/SVoice & completely disable it, then it’ll show up under Turned Off in the Application Manager. After that open Google Search & go into settings, Voice, OK Google detection & setup Google Now Always On.

    1. This didn’t work for me unfortunately.

      1. Just install Google Now Luancher. I have it on GS6 edge and have it on any screen from day one.

  31. IF I get a Note 5 later this year, you can bet the first thing I’ll do is root and flash a more vanilla ROM onto the device. LOVE Samsung hardware, but not a fan of their bloated OS.

    1. A Note without Note apps and capabilities and Samsung’s camera app, is just another generic android phone.

      1. Yes, you are correct in that regard. My personal preference is that generic type of experience so I tend to simply buy devices for their hardware nowadays.

  32. Yup. Either they broke it or they want people to use S-Voice, instead.

    1. Too bad it sucks. I actually uninstall it everytime I upgrade to a newer phone.

  33. Its a Samsung phone and not Google.

  34. Now just freeze S-voice and your good
    I’m hoping all talk to phone apps die
    Sick of hearing people talking to their phones
    Best thing I’ve heard all day!

  35. It’s OK. It’s the first I disable when I buy a new Android phone.

    1. I use it quite regularly. In my office and the car, I use it to search, play music and for hands free driving. It’s a great feature.

  36. Still works for me

  37. Not working right on note 3

  38. You just have to put the Google App widget somewhere on one of your home screens (from the system widgets, not a launcher one). It works just fine without having to go into the app itself.

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