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Review of Google's "OK Google" voice activation feature

prophet

 

 

Review of Google’s “OK Google” voice activation feature

  

Remember, remember, the 5th of November. Yes, four days ago, Google released an updated version of its ‘Google Search’ app, available for Android, iOS  and Windows users. But what is new about it I hear you ask? Well, let’s get into that….

 searches.jpg

 

The main feature is the voice activation, which allows you to say “OK Google” or, alternatively, touch the microphone button to start a search. There are no limitations though. You’re not restricted to just searching; the app allows you to ask Google to remind you to do something or remind you about a specific event. Additionally, you can find the nearest supermarket and even ask Google to show you pictures of your favourite celebrity! Pretty awesome, huh?

 

show_picture.jpg

 

Not only does Google fulfil your request but a voice assistant also provides you with a verbal answer. This is great, as I believe it adds to and provides a personal experience. For example when I asked, “Where is the nearest Asda”, the Google voice assistant said “Here are the listings for Asda within 20 miles” and the results were displayed.

 

 nearest_asda.PNG

 

After using the app for a number of different activities, I found that the Google Search app is very convenient. Although, I did find that it, sometimes, had trouble understanding what I was saying. However, speaking slower and clearer sorted that one out.

 

What I also liked about the app is that when you set a reminder, it would display on the bottom of the app, so that you are aware of it. It’s like a double-reminder but also allows you to edit the reminder, just a click away. As well as this, when you run the app again the notifications are displayed on the home screen. The screenshots below illustrate the reminder feature:

 

reminders.jpg

 

I won’t compare it to Siri or the S Voice as OK Google is a new feature and there are always improvements to be made. Still, right now I would say the app is brilliant and I’m definitely going to be using it a lot more.

 

So what are your thoughts on the revamped app for the most used search engine on the World Wide Web? Smiley Happy

 

Thanks for reading.

 

- Sadia

 

 

 

 

19 Comments
motivator
That is a good review.

Good review - you sell the Google voice activation app quite well. For many of us, a key constraint of our smartphones is app size. How large is this updated app? I recently upgraded my Android Google Chrome app and it doubled in size, that's why I ask this question...

cim
phenomenon

Is "OK Google" universally available on standard Google Play?

 

I have a Nexus 5 and (for a while anyway) still also a Nexus 4. The Nexus 5 is of course running Android 4.4 Kitkat. The Nexus 4 is on android 4.3. I believe both phones are running their latest available versions of Google Search.

 

Each phone appears to need the language to be changed to english US for voice search activation to work (and no I don't have an American accent Smiley Happy).

 

The Nexus 4 does not yet appear to have an update to use "OK Google" at all - but change the language to English US and the search prompt changes from "Search" to "Search or say Google". Saying "Google" seems to do much the same as clicking the mic icon but seems to me you have to activate Google Now or click in a Search widget first...

 

By contrast on Nexus 5 / Android 4.4 (if you select English US) you can say "OK Google" from any home screen and fire up the search. Very different.

 

OK Google available from any home screen seems to be a 'marmite' facility, some love it, some don't - but I do like it so far. Doesn't seem to use up much extra battery which is a key plus.

soothsayer

The .apk download is about 11mb download and includes the google experience launcher. Some people might be able toi install this from here untill it's rolled out properly.

 

@Cim you'll probably be missing the GoogleHome.apk to get Ok Google functionality.

 

http://phandroid.com/2013/10/31/download-and-install-the-new-google-experience-launcher/

 

If you're tempted to try the above always read the comments in the article so you know what you're getting yourself into and what to expect Smiley Happy

cim
phenomenon

Thanks @stephenmiller - not tempted personally but may be useful for those who can't wait - hopefully 4.4 will be pushed out to N4 owners in 'the coming weeks' anyway...

 

To put the blog article in context it should be useful for readers to know that "OKGoogle"  functionality is not yet available via official release from Google for what I assume to be most Android devices.

prophet

@kevstarlive  - Thanks. I'm glad you liked it.

@jeff_elephant  - Thanks. I guess it's sold Smiley Wink Smiley Tongue

 

It was only released on the 5th of November so may not be available for everyone.

Though it is available on the ios App Store for iPhone users.

 

My friend who has a HTC (running Android) also has the OK Google voice feature Smiley Happy

pupil

I will have to have a play with this. Thanks for the review.

head honcho

Thanks I will give thisa try.

Not hopeful though as I have yet to find anything that understands my accent.Smiley Frustrated

visionary

It sounds really good to me. Cat Happy

rookie

i've been using this service for the past few days & find it pretty reliable., as others have said it's not perfect but then again for general use like daily tasks/reminders etc i think it's great