Android tips

150 ways to make Android Voice Search work for you

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Getting around

Need some help finding your way? 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 123 Sesame Street"

  • "Take me to Bank of America by foot"

  • "Go to Wal-Mart with public transportation"

  • "Where am I?"

  • "Show me things to do in Atlanta"

  • "How's traffic in St. Louis?"

  • "Find me a hotel nearby"

  • "I need a hotel room in Houston for tomorrow"

  • "Show me a map of LAX"

  • "Where is Brookstone located in LAX?"

  • "Find me a flight to Chicago"

  • "What's the code for the Chicago Midway airport?"

You can also use Voice Search to get updates on specific flights:

  • "United 465"

  • "Is Delta 5932 on time?"

  • "When does American Airlines flight 1 arrive?"

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And if you're trying to identify a landmark -- or just want to see some pretty pictures -- holler away:

  • "Show me photos of Big Ben"

  • "Pull up images of the Statue of Liberty"

Getting 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?"

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Getting news

Google's Voice Search can do a lot related to news, stocks, and sports. All you've gotta do is ask:

  • "When's the next Cubs game?"

  • "What was the score of the Cardinals game last night?"

  • "Did the Marlins win their last game?"

  • "Show me news stories about Syria"

  • "What's Yahoo stock trading at today?" (Or simply "Yahoo stock" or "Y-H-O-O.")

Getting date and time info

Wherever you are, whenever it is, commands like these can come in handy:

  • "What time is it in London?"

  • "What time zone is Milwaukee in?"

  • "When is the sunset tonight?"

  • "When's the sunrise in Australia?"

  • "When is Father's Day?"

  • "When does daylight savings begin?"

Getting entertainment

Voice Search can serve as a hands-free remote to play music from Google Play Music or any other compatible service. It can also play movies and other videos and get you detailed info on entertainment-related topics.

07-android-voice-search-music-600x450.jpg

Behold:

  • "Listen to The Beatles"

  • "Listen to 'I Am the Walrus'"

  • "Play me songs from Abbey Road"

  • "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"

  • "Show me a video of fireworks"

  • "When does Anchorman 2 come out?"

  • "Showtimes for Elysium"

  • "Do a barrel roll" (Hey, it's very entertaining.)

Getting celebrity stats

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Voice Search can snag you all sorts of info about famous people. Try queries like these:

  • "Who's in the cast of 'Orange Is The New Black'?"

  • "Who directed The Dark Knight Rises?"

  • "Where did Jerry Seinfeld go to college?"

  • "Where was Jimmy Fallon born?"

  • "How much is Tom Cruise worth?"

  • "When did John Lennon die?"

  • "How did John Lennon die?"

  • "What was Marilyn Monroe's real name?"

  • "What movies has Scarlett Johansson been in?"

  • "How tall is Scarlett Johansson?"

  • "How old is Scarlett Johansson?"

  • "Why is JR Raphael so obsessed with Scarlett Johansson?"*

* Disclaimer: That last one may or may not work.

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?"

  • "Show me a graph of sin x"

You can also simply say "Calculator" to bring up a full calculator right in the Google Now interface.

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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Getting around your phone

It can open apps and complete a variety of app-based functions, too:

  • "Open Calendar app"

  • "Open cnn.com"

  • "Search Amazon for a Bluetooth headset"

  • "Get me the Nova Launcher app"

  • "Post to Google+ -- 'I just wanna dance, dance, dance'"

  • "Tweet that I like cheese'"

Getting answers

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Still itching for more Voice Search action? Try variations on some of these questions:

  • "How do you say 'thank you' in Spanish?"

  • "What's the definition of 'pickle'?"

  • "What is area code 323?"

  • "Who's the mayor of Boston?"

  • "What's the population of Dallas?"

  • "What's the state flower of Missouri?"

  • "What does the state flag of Wisconsin look like?"

  • "What are the dimensions of 'Starry Night'?"

  • "Who's the CEO of General Electric?"

  • "Who founded Yahoo?"

  • "Who is Marissa Mayer married to?"

  • "Who wrote The Hunger Games?"

  • "When was the first episode of 'Cheers'?"

  • "What's the theme song to 'Friends'?"

  • "How long is The Godfather?"

  • "How long is the Golden Gate Bridge?"

  • "When did the Georgia Aquarium open?"

  • "What's the height requirement for the 'Incredible Hulk' roller coaster?"

  • "When was the Sistine Chapel built?"

  • "How far away is the moon?"

  • "What's the temperature of the sun?"

  • "What's the loneliest number?"

  • "What's the answer to life, the universe, and everything?"

If that last one doesn't cover all the bases, I don't know what does.

JR Raphael is the author of the Android Power blog and a fan of talking to inanimate objects. For more Android tips and insights, follow him on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

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