voice commands

Voice commands to use with Google Home, Alexa and Siri

Voice activated devices like Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple’s Siri are seeing a big rise in popularity this year. So while 2016 proved to show a increase in voice commands or queries every day, it has set up 2017 to be a pivotal year to make both these things work together. More devises and Apps will be voice activated and the commands need to be refined – made easy to use.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that 20 percent of queries on its mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches. He spoke about this in the context of introducing Google’s new Amazon Echo competitor, Google Home. 20 percent may not sound like much, but that equates to 7 million voice searches a day!

Google says “20 percent of mobile queries are voice searches.”

But you may be struggling how to use voice activated machines or Apps. What kind of information can you really get? Below are more ideas than you can imagine, but it is meant to stress the point that you can ask just about anything.

person using voice searchIdeas for using voice commands in your day

Just note that the items below are ideas and you’ll need to apply some of the rules based on the technology you have. For instance if you are using a Google product you have to start with “OK Google”. Or with the Amazon Echo you need to say “Alexa”.

Getting personal info

Voice Search works hand-in-hand with other services on your phone or on Alex to give you personalized information. It can pull up info based on confirmations and receipts in your inbox or calendar, for instance. Try asking things like:

  • “What’s my flight status?”
  • “Is my flight on time?”
  • “When will my package arrive?”
  • “Show me my purchases”
  • “Show me my reservations”
  • “Where’s my hotel?”

flight status

Getting your stuff

Let Voice Search do the heavy lifting when you need to find something you’ve saved in email, your photos, Google Drive or on your computer:

  • “Show me my latest email”
  • “Show me email from Saul Hudson”
  • “Show me emails about spring break”
  • “Show me my photos from London”
  • “Show me my photos of sunsets”
  • “Show me pictures I took at concerts”
  • “Show me my documents”
  • “Show me my documents on taxes”
  • “Show me my spreadsheets on income”
  • “Show me my screenshot files”

calendarGetting organized

You can use Voice Search to access info from your Calendar or To Do list. Try variations on these commands:

  • “What are my plans for tomorrow?”
  • “When is my anniversary event?”
  • “When is my appointment for training?”
  • “When is my meeting with Dan?”
  • “When’s my next haircut?”
  • “What’s on my agenda for September 30th?”
  • “What’s on my calendar for Friday?”
  • “When is my next meeting?”

Connecting with people

Want to communicate without all the finger tapping? Try prompts like these:

  • “Call Carly Rae Jones”
  • “Call Mom mobile”
  • “Call Bob Stellano home”
  • “Call Jay Reids work”
  • “Call McDonald’s on Third Street”
  • “Call the Hilton in Downtown Chicago”
  • “Send text to Dad — running late, be there in 10 minutes”
  • “Send email to Jan Fredericks — what you doin’ tonight?”
  • “Send email to Jan Fredericks — subject ‘Your dreams have finally come true,’ body ‘I’m in New York'”
  • “What’s Mom’s phone number?”

Navigating and looking for restaurants 

Need some help finding your way? In a new city and looking for a place to eat? Let Voice Search be your guide. Some sample queries to keep in mind:

  • “What’s a good Thai place near me?”
  • “Where’s a museum around here?”
  • “Where’s the closest bowling alley?”
  • “Where is the nearest Burger King?”
  • “When does Office Depot close?”
  • “Is the Metropolitan Museum of Art open now?”
  • “How long will it take me to drive to Olive Garden?”
  • “How far is Red Lobster from my location?”
  • “Navigate to Empire State Building”
  • “Take me to Bank of America by foot”
  • “Go to Wal-Mart with public transportation”
  • “Where am I?”

Getting your weather

You can ask your device for detailed forecast info in almost any way you want:

  • “Is it going to rain this weekend?”
  • “How hot is it gonna be on Sunday?”
  • “Do I need an umbrella today?”
  • “When is it going to rain next?”
  • “What’s the weather in San Francisco?”

Playing music or a movie

Voice Search can serve as a hands-free remote to play music or start a movie. It can also play movies and other videos and get you detailed info on entertainment-related topics.

  • “Listen to The Beatles”
  • “Listen to ‘I Am the Walrus'”
  • “Play me songs from 21 Pilots”
  • “What’s this song?” (Or just activate Voice Search and say nothing; if music is playing, it’ll automatically detect it and identify the tune.)
  • “What channel is ‘The Big Bang Theory’ on?”
  • “Play Life of Pi”

Getting calculations and conversions

Voice Search can handle any math-related question you throw its way:

  • “What’s 5812 times 247?”
  • “What’s 19.4 percent of 240.37?”
  • “What’s 14 inches in millimeters?”
  • “What’s 12 in hexadecimal?”
  • “What’s 78 U.S. dollars in Euros?”

Getting healthy

Voice Search can give you nutritional info:

  • “How many calories are in popcorn?”
  • “How much protein is in a banana?”
  • “Is there sugar in apples?”
  • “How many carbs in corn?”

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About the author

An experienced and innovative digital marketer that has an outstanding background in all facets of multi-channel marketing that ranges from strategic planning, brand marketing, social media enthusiast to digital consulting for business.