Google Now: The Siri-Wannabe Is Just As Good

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If you think Siri has been the Queen Of All Voice Commands, well, think again. There’s another in line that may well be taking its glory, and it’s the Google Now. It’s good to know that Google Now is partly a portal to the main Google search engine, so you can ask it just about anything you would like to know. And if you’re wondering how to use it wisely on your smartphone, here are 9 commands to use the app with:

1. Turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on or off

If you say “turn wi-fi off”, or vice versa, you’ll be able to see a shortcut to the setting on screen and the requested action is taken. Bluetooth works exactly the same way, too.

2. Turn the flashlight on or off

This might come in handy for the times you find yourself scrambling around to look for your phone in a darkened room. Just say “turn flashlight on” or “turn flashlight off” and it’ll make the change.

3. Read out your text messages

Ask Google Now to “read my messages”, and it will show you your last five incoming SMS messages being shown on the screen, and then the obvious would happen next. The text messages can then be read aloud, proving a handy tool especially when you’re driving.

4. Launch apps

Just say “open…” followed by any kind of app that you wish for it to jump into life. It’s also worth noting that it works with websites too, as long as the URL is one you can easily speak out.

5. Play music

This command launches the “I’m feeling lucky” radio option in the Google Play Music app, a playlist of songs based on your previous listening history.

6. Call and text your contacts

This works exactly the same way Siri does; saying “call…” or “text…” and again, proving to be really convenient when driving.

7. Set alarms

You can ask Google Now to “set an alarm” with nothing but your voice, though some settings can’t be configured unless you actually go into the Clock app but it’s still a useful shortcut nevertheless.

8. Change brightness and volume levels

This is where there is proof that improvement should take place; you can’t change brightness and volume levels directly, however, you can at least jump to the relevant page in the Settings app by mentioning “mute volume”, or “lower brightness”.

9. Take photos and videos

Just say “open camera” to launch the camera, or “record a video” to launch it into video mode, and what’s more, it can also prompt you into a list of installed apps capable of taking photos when you say, “take a photo”. How cool is that?