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On the official Google... Google+ page, Google announced today that the newest version of Search for Android will now allow you to call or text contacts merely by uttering their relationship to you.

For example, saying "call Mom" will now begin a telephone call to whichever contact you've marked as having that relationship to you. If you've merely put in "Mom" as a contact, Google will just call that. However, if you don't yet have a contact marked, an interface allowing you to select the person you want to associate with that relationship will then appear. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem there's any kind of interface for managing these relationships just yet.

Call Mom

So far, the feature supports the standard extended family designations (at least in English, it seems the feature is limited in geographic scope at launch) and relationships  - father / dad, mother / mom, brother, sister, cousin, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, grandmother / grandma, grandfather / grandpa, wife, husband, girlfriend, and boyfriend. There may be more, of course. For those relationships with more than one possible designation, saying either form will complete the action. In-laws and step-relatives don't yet appear to be supported, or cousins three-times removed.

The feature shouldn't require any update to the version of Search on your phone - this has been enabled on the backend by Google.


David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Matthew Merrick

    Can't you change the relationship in your Gmail contacts? Will it just use that?

    • Paul_Werner

      I was thinking it'd be that too

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Sorry, where are you seeing this option? I looked at the People app and the web page view of Gmail Contacts and I see no relationship field.

      • tym0

        The relationship field is to note the relationship relative to someone else not to yourself, I don't think Google uses that field for this function.

    • Jondan Rothfus

      I just looked in both the Contacts page built into Gmail, and in my Contacts app, and I'm not seeing a "Relationship" catagory. It'd be nice to have the relationship tab built into Contacts, as well as utilizing the "Nickname" already present.

      Also, I'd LOVE for you to be able to officially (not back-end with the speak-to-type functions in Android) add phonetic names that can then be repeated by Google Search (Ex. "Ok, Google: call Stacie [my wife, name pronounced like Stacey]." "Calling Stacie [learned from Phonetic Name in Contacts to pronounce it 'Stacey']."

      • Jimas

        It might be that Relationship field...but I just added my wife via Google Voice Search, but still don't see either of our contact pages updated (neither in People app on my N5 nor on the web)

      • Vilmar

        Only for contacts you can add the relationship category. For the Me card that isn't possible for some reason.

    • Matthew Merrick

      I've never used it, but I see the category in Gmail (on the web), under "add" when you're looking at the contact

  • Kenny O

    Nothing for your spouse?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Whoops, missed that one! It does indeed work.

      • h4rr4r

        That could be very dangerous if the wife gets ahold of your phone.:)

      • Brad

        how do you end that after the breakup?!?

        • Matthew Fry

          "Ok Google, break up with girlfriend."
          "Ok Google, divorce wife."
          "Ok Google, disown child."

    • Steve B

      Actually yes. Ok Google, call my wife, or whatever. Once you say this, it will walk you through the rest. I just set it up.

      • Kenny O

        Cool, doing this now :-)

  • tery_cota

    I have been using this option the day I received Nexus 5. I always say "OK Google" Call home and it connects immediately.

    • Ricardo Neves

      They're not talking about nicknames, we know that was available since a long time.

    • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

      Entirely different. Read the article again.

  • Slawootsky

    Looks like the title is messed up a little.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Indeed it does.

  • Maff Mace

    it needs "wife" adding!
    my wife is called Erin, it keeps thinking I say Aaron!

    • nvillaco

      I have a similar problem. My wife's name is Arielle and google will frequently hear me as saying "Ariel" and it won't work. The other one it'll pick up a lot is "Gary El" haha... I even tried messing around with the 'phonetic name' and it's really hit or miss for her, usually miss. So annoying cause my wife, the person I call and text most often, is the only person whom I can't get voice commands to work for consistently.

      • h4rr4r

        Just change her name to little mermaid, that should solve it.

        • nvillaco

          We've never heard that one before. :)

      • Matthew Fry

        I was curious what it does with unusual or non-standard spellings. I guess based on Maffe and your experiences, it just doesn't work.

    • mostuart

      It worked the first time I tried it for my wife some of the other contacts did not work so well. I have found if you go in and edit the contact. You can add a field called Relationship. Add wife to that field and it should solve the problem.

  • cy_n_ic

    Ok google, call my mistress

    • Andrés

      Her: "But you are talking to me"

  • NickAVV

    I just set it up for my parents, nice conversational style to get it going "Google, call dad" "Who is dad?" "*dad's name*", but the voice that Google uses for these interactions seems a little stilted compared to it's usual naturalness

    • Francois Roy

      How did you set this up? In the People app? I just cant find the right field..; I add contacts into the family group.. then what?

  • Rovex

    Will check if it works in English.. Its MUM.

    • MeCampbell30

      Mum's the word.

      • mfr118

        I thought bird was the word?!

        • Daniel Traynor

          I say MOM! Must be because I'm a brummie!

          • Stylus_XL

            Me too! I can't even bring myself to write "mum", I have to spell it like I say it.

  • Tomáš Petrík

    Just being curious and also lazy to try. If you have two grandmas, how does it behave? Does it ask which one of them you want to call? Or something else?

  • Paul Grant

    "OK Google, Call my wife." "SAY name of the contact that you wish to call"

    • This is A JOKE, people


      • Angelica Gerard


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      • luzzjl524

        My Uncle James recently got a new black
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        • Robert Macri

          A Mazda 3 Hatchback!?! That changes everything!

          • Shaftway

            The spam was "awaiting moderation" and I couldn't help showing it to see how the conversation had shifted so much. Well played, randomness of the universe.

    • Ricardo Neves

      Not working here either, yet. I'm guessing it's a staged rollout. And if it's a joke, good one :P

    • Maff Mace

      I get this too, I've added relationships for brothers, parents & wife in my People app (stock Android, Nexus 5), none of them work, could be another US only feature?

    • Somedude

      Siri can do that

    • usaff22

      "...OR SAY CANCEL"

    • khha4113

      When I called my wife just like yours, it asked for permission to use contact.
      "Improve contact recognition
      To complete the voice action, Google needs to use your device contact"
      Tap on "Yes, I'm in", then it would work.

    • Retsu Unohana

      have you tried saying call wife? After she is listed as your wife? there is a relationship drop down menu. I had an issue to calling dad. I was saying call dad mobile phone. Instead it was call dad it than asked me home or mobile? After I listed him as a relationship (dad)

    • Tresa Wiley

      How do I change my husband since divorced?

  • Varun

    I m an Indian and in Hindi (local language) we call father as papa and when I told google to call father it detected papa from contacts and called him.....language-english uk

    • a


      • Varun

        That doesn't work

    • Rohit

      The Hindi word for father is Pitha. Papa (like daddy) is something people in India picked up from abroad.

      • Varun

        Commom dude....I was talking what majority of Indians say who cares from where that word came from and lets just stick to the topic.

  • B.J. Hutto

    You can actually do it the other way, too. Tell Google, 'call my wife,' and it will ask you to pick your wife out of your contacts and then save the relationship.

  • Muhammad Zohaib Rizwani

    Does it work on cm11? I tried it but it won't set contact just says say the name of the person whom you want to call when I say call mom. No setting up. Even added the relation in the people app :/

    • Brad

      any android phone with google now... it's a server side switch they've thrown. Might still be trickling through the world wide web, though

  • Robert Macri

    By the Way... the Relationship field is to add the contacts relatives, not your own.

    In example Corworker Smith
    Spouse: Jenn
    Child: Joey

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Good catch.

    • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

      Really? O_O OMG never realized that

  • Guest

    I tried with different contacs in different settings, and adding relationship and saying call "relationship" doesn't work. What in my case worked is adding "cousin" to nickname or phonetic name.

  • CoreRooted

    Also works with "Boss" and "Manager".

    • h4rr4r

      So "Boss" calls wife and "Manager" your supervisor at work?

      • CoreRooted

        LOL... Nope... I have a boss at work and a manager... *sigh*

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock


      • Francois Roy

        Looks like it is yet another US exclusive..

  • Lackmann

    It already worked, if you had set a "phonetic name" to a contact. Did this for month....

    • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

      Cool, glad it already did something entirely different from this. Now back to the topic.

  • Chaosprower

    It doesn't seem to work in Spain :(

  • http://RonaldMatters.com/ RONALDMATTERS.COM

    "Bestie" is supported!!!! UGH!

  • nvillaco

    Sort of off topic but does anyone else notice that voice commands pinpointing certain contacts can react differently sometimes depending on if you are calling vs texting, especially if it is a difficult name? For example, there is a contact that I can voice command to call and it works every time. But if I try to text this same contact, it will always choose the wrong contact or not work at all.

  • Brad

    Very cool, but who has their mom in the contact list by their real name?

    • Guest

      I suggest you try again.

    • Mike Harris

      I do, since that's the way to have her facebook profile linked to the contact.

      • Brad

        Ah, I link by ID and it finds her.

      • Roman Ševčík

        me too, same reason

    • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

      I do? I've never understood people who give all their contacts nicknames instead of real names. It links with their social profiles and email properly if you use their real names, for one thing.

      • Brad

        Yeah, but you have, what, a handful of people that would have a nickname? Mom, Dad, Grandparents...

    • Fifth313ment

      I put mine in by their real names and then make them an ICE and a relationship of parent, mom, dad, etc...

    • Matthew Fry

      I do because... that's her name.

  • Apollo

    This is cool. Now if Google Voice Search would just work when I press my Bluetooth headphone's button and the screen is off and read back my texts and email.

    I want completely hands free control, Google. Enable this instead of the voice dialer.

  • veRdiKt


  • James Ellis

    Apparently, I have too many daughters. How do I add a second one? My relationship fields were filled out ages ago, but it did not pick up on my Wife or Mom until I told it.

    • nvillaco

      Damn you're right.... Interesting, I always thought Touchless Controls simply equaled Google Now, just accessed through Moto X's always listening shortcut... Apparently, there are some differences baked in under the surface. I wonder if there are other differences in how it listens to commands...

    • nvillaco

      Actually.... I did some more testing. It's weird. Voice *calling* by relationship with Touchless Controls on the Moto X does not work. But strangely, voice *texting* by relationship with Touchless Controls does. If you touch the microphone to use Google Now, both work.

  • http://twitter.com/Rodrigost23 Rodrigo Tavares

    It should work with contacts relationships.

    • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

      You're misunderstanding what the relationships field is for.

      • http://twitter.com/Rodrigost23 Rodrigo Tavares

        Sorry, what is it for? Considering there's a contact of yourself, shouldn't its relationships fields be used in this?

    • Matthew Fry

      That would be kind of cool. "Call my wife's mother." "Call my sister's boyfriend."

  • Drifter2410

    Doesnt work. Using UK English from India. :/

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    Worked with "boss," too, so it's not just familial relationships.

  • Roman Ševčík

    How to set my MOM on Galaxy SIII (i have Google now launcher)

  • Sahil Chaturvedi

    Call My wiiiiiiifee
    Sorry, not sure how large the intersect between AP readers and Comedy Bang Bang/Borat fans is. :P

  • Telefunken

    Settings/TV & Video/TV Provider/Change postcode

    gives me "Enter postcode to find TV providers" but it only lets you enter numbers. You can't even paste in non-numeric characters. But I'm in the UK and we use digits and letters in our postcodes; perhaps they're thinking of American Zip-codes?

    • Chris G

      you are correct. its US only for that feature.

      • Telefunken

        So why support the word 'postcode'? Suggests they're interested in supporting the UK at some point. Sadly, whenever I read about Google Search/Google Now (the words seem to be used interchangeably) it sounds great but when I try it it just gives me local weather (which I already have on my homepage using a widget), travel times (with no access to live travel data so it's just a static train timetable), sports results (typically 21-24 hours after the match ended), random websites (what's the point?)... It's like they're trying to make use of the information they have on you for your own benefit rather than for them to monetize, in case people start to wonder if the balance is right.

        • Chris G

          weird for me it says zip code. but yes postal code would give you that impression.

  • Randroid

    Except that it doesn't even work for me when I use the contact's name. It just does a search no matter what I say to it. Why would it search the phrase "Text John Doe..." or even "Send a text to..." or "Send a text message..." when it supposedly knows what that sentence is supposed to mean?

  • Colin Richardson

    I always get the problem of it adding "Hey" in front of the contact name when doing this sort of stuff so It never works..
    "Ok Google, Send Message" "SAY THE NAME OF THE CONTACT"
    "Gordon Freeman" google turns it into "Hey Gordon Freeman" "COULD NOT FIND CONTACT"..

    Well, yeah, His name is not "Hey Gordon Freeman"... Always seems to do it.
    If I say "Adam Freeman" keeps it as "Adam Freeman" because it is not a contact name. But of course, that doesn't help very much.
    If I say "Send Message to Gordon Freeman" its fine..

    TL;DL = I hate voice commands..

  • Alphajoe

    Feature request: "Call ex-girlfriend / ex-wife" will trigger a analysis of your voice for drunkeness. If positive, call a cab home instead.

  • Segroukin

    "Mom?" It's mum!

  • Lee

    It would be really really cool if you could use the terms "call via Google Voice" and then it do so. If a user has Google Voice "Making calls" setting set up to "Ask every time I make a call" then you have to physically make a physical choice with your finger.

  • worldbfree4me

    "OK Google" Call my 420 connection and then send text to my NSA Hookup to come over in an hour. That kind of ability my friends would be the Bees Knees!

  • James Cole

    I realize this is an old thread, but does anyone know if it is possible to change the 'wait time' in Google Now when asking to place a call? I mean the duration of the blue progress bar after asking Google Now to 'call '. Is it possible to have the call dial almost immediately?