unnamed (1)

Besides fixing Google Experience Launcher on tablets and adding some new cards, the new Google Search update has another trick up its sleeve - it will now hold a conversation with you to perform certain functions, and talks to you in a new way.

Basically, you can now start with very general voice commands like "send a message." The microphone will then turn into a white speaker on a blue circle, indicating that Search is responding to you. It will ask "Who do you want to send the message to?" Then it's your turn. Say a name, and Search will ask what the message should say. When you're all done, it will show you the message and ask if it should send. Say yes and you're set.


Screenshot_2013-11-13-22-23-41 Screenshot_2013-11-13-22-24-09 Screenshot_2013-11-13-22-24-19 Screenshot_2013-11-13-22-24-25

Search will also talk back to you when placing a call to someone with multiple numbers. Just tell it to call someone, and it will ask "Mobile" or "Home," as the case may be.


It's unclear if the new paradigm works for other commands, but it works like a charm for placing calls and sending messages or emails. If the update hasn't hit your device yet, just head over to our initial coverage for the download.

via Ars Technica

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Peter Farac

    Doesn't work with hangouts unfortunately...

    • Thomas Lovett

      That's the first thing I checked as well. I'm guessing it works with hangouts in the N5. Well... I hope it would.

      • GabrielBB

        Nope.... sad panda.

        • http://www.techmantis.net/ Minja Miketa

          Worked for me. It sent a text to my brother. Nexus 5 here so hangouts is the default.

          • GabrielBB

            Text yes, Hangout no.

          • John R. Kupel

            Both text and chat work in Hangouts...

      • TSON1

        "This device can not perform the action you requested". :(

        • Thomas Lovett

          Well, shit. I'm sure they'll update it pretty soon.

          • http://scottymeuk.co.uk/ Scott Robertson

            You require 4.4 for the SMS API so I doubt they will.

          • John R. Kupel

            Actually that is incorrect, I am on JB 4.1.2 on my Samsung Galaxy Rush and my SMS works perfect in Hangouts, does not require 4.4 for the SMS API...

          • http://scottymeuk.co.uk/ Scott Robertson

            Yes, that part does, because they have used a hacky workaround, like all the others apps did until now, but interacting with that app may not be possible, because the SMS Write API is not in <4.4.

      • ltredbeard

        it worked for me on the n5

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/barronlroth Barron Roth

      I'm assuming it requires Kit Kat, and this is the exact reason they require you to specify a default texting application.

    • Ben Baranovsky

      That was the first think I tried. Come on Google, support your own services.

      • Miss Universe

        One thing after another. haha

        You guys never really stop complaining. oh well.

        • ltredbeard

          Well considering hangouts is the default sms app on 4.4 it is a bit of a disappointment. Sometimes ppl complain to complain but this time they probably have valid concerns.

          EDIT: It worked in hangouts for me....are you guys talking about hangouts chats and not sms?

          • annalisedyy264

            мʏ ʀօօмαтɛ'ѕ мօм мαĸɛѕ $67 ɛʋɛʀʏ нօυʀ օɴ тнɛ ƈօмքυтɛʀ. ѕнɛ нαѕ вɛɛɴ υɴɛмքʟօʏɛɖ ғօʀ 9 мօɴтнѕ вυт ʟαѕт мօɴтн нɛʀ ƈнɛƈĸ աαѕ $19004 ʝυѕт աօʀĸιɴɢ օɴ тнɛ ƈօмքυтɛʀ ғօʀ α ғɛա нօυʀѕ. υѕɛғυʟ ѕօυʀƈɛ fox200&#46com

          • Clayton Ginther

            no way omg can i do that too if i give you my mother's maiden name?

          • dogulas

            did you say "send a message" or "send a hangout" or what? What is a hangout message called? you did an sms or a chat? a chat would be cool. I just wonder what to say to get it to do that.

          • ltredbeard

            I said "send a message" and it sent a SMS from the hangouts app. "send a hangout" and "send a hangout message" don't work for me.

          • Adam Truelove

            Yes, SMS is mostly useless to me. I use hangouts chats (online protocol, not SMS) WAY more than SMS.

        • Don’tbehystericalmanchild

          I think this was a reasonable complaint, if Google offers X but fails to support it, it's obvious people would complain.
          On the other hand if someone is complaining because they don't "like" a feature or thing Google did then it's a completely different story.

        • Chaturanaga Manchanayake

          Seriously, they push one update at a time, you'll eventually get those features including controlling the settings like turning wifi on and off. ;)

        • C Jacobs

          An idiots like you never stop trying to dismiss the concerns of others....

      • Ben Baranovsky

        And apparently I need to support proper spelling. Thing**

      • TheDrunkenClam

        Hike up your pants. There's going to be a flood of tears.

    • scuttlefield

      Wow! That's the first thing I tried as well. Frustrating that that doesn't work.

    • http://twitter.com/diegojdiaz Diego Josué Díaz Reyes

      I can confirm that it works fine with Hangouts as long as you have it set as your default messaging application and have disabled the messaging application on whatever device you are using. There was no problem in that but if you are referring to not being able to send a chat message through Hangouts, you are correct.

      • dogulas

        Dang, I hope they include chats soon. I wonder what the hot-phrase will be though

    • MindFever

      Well,you can send a text msg via SMS ...4.4 uses hangouts for that

  • Taco Monster

    Why is the voice so shitty?

    • Ben Baranovsky

      It seems to only be the voice in the conversation mode. Strange.

      • Taco Monster

        Yeah, it doesn't make any sense.

    • Adrian Zugaj

      It's the offline voice. Why it's using that when connected to the internet, I don't know.

    • Yam Borodetsky

      Such a robotic, sad voice.

    • John R. Kupel

      Gotta be your device, the voice sounds fine here...

  • coolsilver

    Why didn't it have this before. XD Always got frustrated sending a text by voice and having it drop before I could say it all.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Because it's a hard problem to tackle.

  • http://jamick.me/ Jack Micklethwaite

    It also remembers who you are talking about if you do a follow up search.

    Example: "Who is Michael Jackson?" followed by "How did he die?" replaces "he" with "michael jackson".

    • http://www.gundamaustralia.com/ cameron charles

      i was just about to ask if this is in there thnks

      • Taco Monster

        This has been around for a bit though.

        • http://www.gundamaustralia.com/ cameron charles

          ah i only recently dicovered that setting my now launguage to english(US) opened up things to aussie's so that could be one of them

    • Squiddles

      It's done that before this update.

      • http://jamick.me/ Jack Micklethwaite

        I thought it had done it in the past, but I tried it a week or two ago and it didn't work with the example I gave above.

        • miri

          Every now and then when the back end updates certain features (usually conversational search) stop working for a little while.

    • Alex

      Yeah, but that's not new and has been covered in older articles.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii
  • The hero

    It also works with email. Say esend an email and it will ask you to pick an address. But the voice is ridiculously bad! How do you change it?

    • miri

      It's the offline voice. It'll fix itself eventually.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Email is already mentioned in the post.

  • Hector Diaz

    You can open any app in your device with a normal command like open whatsapp or play store even search for an app you don't have and get it in the play store for download. Keep improving

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      You could already say "Open APPNAME" before Search 3.0.

      • Fresh2infinity

        Or you can click on the icon on the your homescreen and instantly open the app....Magic.. oh and you don't have to wait 5 seconds to say ok google, then open appname then wait for it to open...

        Don't mind me...just need some coffee

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    I love it. I have 3 emails listed under Home for my wife. So Search asks which one - you can say 1st, 2nd, etc. Works wonderfully.

  • disappointed user

    Your page about the Google experience launcher seems to have a third party apk embedded in it... Prompts to download once the page finishes loading. Wasn't paying attention and thought I was installing the Launcher apk that I was there to get. Afraid I've lost all trust in your site now :(

    • PhilNelwyn

      That might come from an ad.

  • TylerChappell

    This is amazing. And this is why Apple/iOS/Siri look like a total joke. Apple's software is so poor that they should be paying their users to use it.

    • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao


    • Asgard

      You do realize that Google Now is also available for iOS?

      • John R. Kupel

        Your point?? He was referring to Apple's POS Siri...

    • ins0mn1a

      actually, regarding this particular feature you are wrong. siri was able to hold conversation from the very start. ios has enough shortcomings as is, no reason to attribute it the ones it doesn't have.

      • John R. Kupel

        iOS is a POS period...

        • squiddy20

          Way to have an open, unbiased mind there buddy...

  • alwin006

    Make me a Sandwich ? --> What !? Make it yourself !

    • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

      sudo Make me a Sandwich

    • Al McDowall

      And also "You're a sandwich"

      • Guest

        She says "Poof!!" before saying that. Sound effect for magic I guess.

    • Al McDowall

      And also thanks for unwittingly letting me know that I'm not the only person that thought of asking that!!! (although I don't feel as clever or unique as I did earlier this evening.....)

  • mgamerz

    The voice sounds really strange, much more robotic than usual.

  • unhappybirthday

    OK Google. English grammar.

    TO WHOM do you want to send a message?

    • Brad

      I'd punch my phone if it sounded so stuffy... They sell androids at walmart, do you think they'd know what it meant???

  • Rovindra Singh

    Having an issue when sending text messages, when it asks me to pick a contact it doesn't recognize the contact even though it's clear that the voice recognition picked it up. The contact name shows up in the search box but somehow it isn't making the connection. Anyone else having this issue with their Nexus 4?

    • Mohammad Danish

      Yeah I have the same issue but on Nexus 5.

    • CrazyManDan

      I can confirm having the same issue with my Nexus 4 in some cases. At first, I tried it with my "Parents" contact, the banner that contains the multiple methods of contact for my parents, and it didn't work. Next I tried speaking one of my friends names, and it worked as expected. I then changed the name of my "Parents" contact to "David Mitchell", and it worked without a hitch. I don't know if it has reserved keywords for certain things, but I can say so far it looks like it doesn't care for "parents" or "home".

      In all cases, the name I spoke showed up in the search box interpreted correctly before it asked me to repeat myself.

      I was going to test on my Nexus 5 to see if the issue persisted there, but the update hasn't been rolled out to my device yet, so it's still on 3.0.17. I want to compare the behavior of the downloaded APK to the official release via the Play Store, so that'll have to wait a bit.

  • Brandon Watkins

    Is it just me or did the takeaway support for package tracking?

    • JLishere
      • Brandon Watkins

        Well it should work then. But it's not for me right now. Before the update I had two packages for me, now there gone. And if you ask where are my packages, it doesn't reply back like it use to. I can't find it anywhere in the settings now either. I hope I'm wrong , I use that feature pretty much everyday.

        • Brad

          Mine actually re-scraped my tracking info after the upgrade... had to clear 'em again

          • Brandon Watkins

            Damn well maybe I did something when I updated my tablet to 4.4 ... I did the method everyone always says is risky , but it works first try for me.

          • Brad

            maybe you deleted the emails it scraped? Though I'm pretty sure I did, too...

          • Brandon Watkins

            Yeah maybe. Thanks for your help and suggestion.

        • KanishkSingh

          If the tracking mail is in the mailbox? It works pretty well for amazon mails, have not seen for any other website.

          • Brandon Watkins

            Well it works for eBay and it en worked for newegg.com but I checked all my emails and there still there but shipping tracking just isn't working for me right now.

  • Hector Diaz

    To see other's search commands say "OK Google" Help

  • apfelcake

    Does not work with German

    • dingaling

      nor Swahili

  • Doug Cherner

    I have the N5 (Tmobile) but can't get this to work. Do N5s need an update also?

  • Euan Tan

    Tried it! works great! Voice sounds different from Traditional Google now... Sounds kinda angry sometimes LOL (WHO DO U WANT TO SEND THE MESSAGE TO?) Chilllll google.

    • Marcell Lévai

      She just wants you to leave her alone :P

  • http://scribblepeople.net Mike

    anyone have any idea why I would get Google Now network error. Check your network connection and try again, it has been happening for about a week, so before this update

  • Kieron Quinn

    Why would it fix support for tablets? GEL isn't in 4.4 on any tablet, unless there's a new one coming?

    • Dissidence

      One would assume that it's because they're aware that people are going to put GEL on everything they possibly can, regardless of what is "officially supported"

  • technobri

    Works great on my htc one but blinkfeed all gone

  • NinoBr0wn

    WHYYYY have they not re-enabled image search download?

  • Eduardo Mateos

    And again, this is only for the US.

    Not that I was waiting for anything different, but I don't understand why Google leave all other users of the world behind.

    • csgabor

      no it's not, it's working great in Hungary eg., just in English.

      • Eduardo Mateos

        Well, I know, but I'm sure you will not be sending many messages in English to your friends...

        • csgabor

          well, for those scenarios where I'd use voice typing (short messages like "I'll be 30 minutes late") anyway, I don't mind it too much. I haven't changed the default texts when rejecting calls either and I do use them.

  • med1vg

    For some reason I'm having a problem with the sounds of Google Now, they are jaggy and jerky (choppy) and driving me crazy. For example when you say OK Google it does that sound to let you know that its listening, but for me the sound plays, then stops for a little while and then carries on, any known fix?

  • Braden Abbott

    One new thing is that if you say "open Chrome" it doesn't wait 5 seconds to open it, it just opens instantly. Thank God and Jesus and all his followers! lol

    • Brad

      Just chrome? I'll feel silly talking to my phone at my desk haha

      • Braden Abbott

        No, it works for any app. It would just wait like 5 seconds to execute in the past but not anymore

        • Brad

          Ah, I know it'd launch anything before with the wait - but I was wondering if chrome had something special to avoid the wait.

  • Matteo Brogioni

    is it avaiable only for english, or other languages too?

  • Luan Cristian da Silva

    now we need xda to make it again work with all languages

  • Tim Harper

    My brother in law has the nexus 5, and if you say "ok Google, make me a sandwich" it will alternate between "make it yourself" and "proof! You're a sandwich!"

  • Алекс

    Ahaha, guys, try to ask her "Who are you?" ! :D

  • Kenny O

    It's not working good for me at all. I used to be able to say "call my wife" and it would just go - now it asks me for a contact name and when I say "wife" it doesn't register "wife" as a contact - when I say her full name, it still won't register even though it displays the correct name in the search box. It won't work with "Mom" of "Dad" either. This update, while cool, has completely broken what I used most.

    • prestone1

      Add wife as phonetic name in her contact field.

  • Angelvsqz

    it works with hangouts sms...

    • Brad

      I was going to test it... it didn't before and I'd disabled messaging haha

  • Tyler Balanowski

    S voice does the same thing

  • Alexander Gontar

    English is
    the 1st or 2nd language approx. for 9% of people in the world. For not native English speakers or for people
    who do not speak English at all (91% of human population!) this feature that is
    positioning as one of the most attractive things in the new Android
    concept is absolutely useless.

    Has anyone
    heard why Google since the birth of Google Now service do not support other
    languages? Or were there any announces for support other languages?

    • CoreRooted

      Your statistic is completely inaccurate. English is spoken as a first or second language in almost 67% of the world population. It is also the official language for over 70 countries world wide. It is also the official language for United Nations.

      Voice support in Google Now includes 37 languages. Nowhere in the article does it say that this is English (or US) only.

  • Al McDowall

    See what it says when you say "Make me a sandwich"......

  • Kevin

    one thing ive never really liked is that it can only talk back if the ringer volume is up, why is this not considered media for volume? i keep my device on vibrate almost 24/7.....is this just me or does somebody know a work around?

  • Duh

    you can also text using the following:

    "Text 'Contact Name' 'Say message here'"

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Official changelog is up. Here's the relevant bit:

    - Voice actions: multi-step calling, texting & emailing; checking your calendar

  • rajat nandi

    How did you get OK Google to work

    try to download the offline US language, on google now settings ("Voice" menu)
    and if it doesn't work, try to set "search on google.com" on "accounts & privacy" menu