How to master voice control on Android: Going beyond Google Now

Optimizing Google Now

Google Now Accounts Privacy Settings 220x391 - How to master voice control on Android: Going beyond Google NowBefore we download the third-party app, let’s go over a few settings for Google Now that make the voice control experience better on Android.

Launch Google Now on your phone and tap on the Menu button in the bottom-right corner of the screen (you may have to scroll down to get to it). Make sure Google Now is turned on and then tap on the Voice option. The main thing I want you to do here is go into the “Offline speech recognition” settings and ensure that your language is installed (if it is supported).

Go back to the main settings screen and select “Accounts & privacy”. Here, I prefer to keep “Google location settings” turned on, with both the Location History and Location Reporting features enabled. Web History is also checked.

Most importantly, make sure that you turn on the “Contact recognition” feature if you’d like to use Google Now to be able to call and text your contacts using voice instructions. Also ensure that the “Show updates from Google Now” feature is enabled under Notifications, if you’d like to use its excellent Reminders feature.

Voice recognition is only one of the two important parts of a virtual assistant; the other is text-to-speech. You need your voice assistant to sound human, and there’s some setup involved in getting there. Go into the Settings app on your phone and navigate to ‘Language & input » Text-to-speech output’. Tap on the Settings button next to “Google Text-to-speech engine” and then on “Install voice data”. Select your language and download the “high quality” voice for it if it is available. That done, you’re all set to proceed.

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