James Cridland

Android Wear voice commands for your smartwatch: the missing list

OK Google: Where is the manual for my moto 360?
That doesn’t do much. But these all do…

(Update: here’s a big list of all OK Google commands. Some work on Android Wear. Some don’t.)

If you have an Android Wear smart watch, like an LG G Watch, a moto 360, or watches from Sony, Samsung or Asus, you’re probably wondering… what on earth happened to the manual? So was I. So, here are some voice commands to try. They all work on my LG G Watch R (that’s it, above), when connected to my Gmail account, while in the UK and using British English — running Android Wear 5.1.1 on an Android 5.1.1 phone in May 2015. If you’ve a Google for Work account, you’ll find some work and some don’t; and US folks might have more commands that work.

Just lift your watch and say “OK Google”, then the command below immediately afterwards. Or, touch the screen, swipe to the right twice, and then say the command. (If they don’t work, it might be this bug.)

What’s the time? — because, you know, let’s start with a really pointless one. But it works.

What’s today’s date? — many watch faces don’t come with the current date. If it doesn’t, you’ve always got this to rely on.

Call Sally — gives you a list of people called Sally in your address book. “Call Sally Draper” narrows it down, and shows a list of her numbers. “Call Sally Draper mobile” will ring her mobile phone. Naturally, it’ll call from your phone, not your watch. As an aside, the “asking which telephone number”, and similar in these next two, doesn’t really work well on round screens.

Text Sally — sends an SMS to someone in your address book. “Text Sally Draper” will narrow it down, but will still ask you which telephone number to send it to. “Text Sally Draper mobile” works. Using “Message” instead of “Text” won’t.

Email Sally — sends an email to someone in your address book. “Email Sally Draper” will narrow it down.

Call my brother — if you set up nicknames in Google Now on your phone (Menu > Settings > Accounts & Privacy > Nicknames), you can give a bunch of useful nicknames to selected contacts to speed the process up.

This is how to write a sentence full stop is this how to write another one question mark yes comma it is full stop — how to do punctuation in UK English. US English uses ‘period’ instead of ‘full stop’.

Note to self: I really like cheese — leaves a note in your Google Keep account.

Remind me, tomorrow at 9: buy some cheese — This will be added to your Google New reminders and pop up. Also: “Remind me to buy some cheese” (it’ll then ask when you’d like to be reminded).

Where is Moscow? — shows a map of the place you’ve asked for, alongside the country or region that this place is in. Also, try: “What time is it in Moscow?” “What’s the weather like in Moscow?” “How far away is Moscow?” “When is sunset in Moscow?” “What’s the area code for Boston?” “What time zone is Moscow in?” “What’s the weather like in New York tomorrow?” “What’s the population of Moscow?” “How do you say ‘thankyou’ in Russian?” “What money do they use in Russia?”

What is 100 dollars in Russian money? — also, “What is ten pounds in Canadian dollars?”

How do I get to Leicester Square? — start navigating. This will choose the most sensible between walking and driving. Also try: “How do I drive to Leicester Square?” “How do I walk to Leicester Square?” “How do I bicycle to Leicester Square?” (curiously, “how do I cycle” doesn’t work). “How do I get home?” also works fine.

What’s the closest pizzeria? — (“Where’s the closest…” doesn’t work) will give you details of the closest pizza place.

“How do I get to the nearest bank?” will navigate you there.

Play some music — loads Google Play Music on your phone, and plays the random “I’m feeling lucky” station. Also try: “Play The Beatles”, which shuffles all Beatles tracks; “Play Rubber Soul” which plays the Rubber Soul album in track order; “Play Drive My Car” will play that track and more music like it.

Where am I? — shows information about where you are, including a little map with a blue dot. For a more interactive experience, use “Start Google Maps”, which gives you the full Google Maps experience on your watch, including pinch/zoom and more.

Do I need an umbrella tomorrow?

Show me my steps — says how many steps you’ve walked today (with some other information). Also, for most watches, “Show me my heartbeat”.

When’s my next appointment? — also, “What’s my agenda?” “What’s on my schedule for tomorrow?” “What does my day look like on Wednesday?”

Is British Airways flight 283 on time?

When is the next Liverpool game? — also, “What was the score of the last Arsenal game?”

What’s the Tesco share price?

How old is David Cameron? — also, “How tall is David Cameron?”, “When is David Cameron’s birthday?”, “Who is David Cameron?”, “How did Winston Churchill die?”, “Who is the Prime Minister of the UK?”, “Where was David Cameron born?”, “Where is the Houses of Parliament?”, “How tall is the Elizabeth Tower?” “What is the Elizabeth Tower?”

How long is Superman 2? — also, “When did Superman 2 come out?” “Who directed Independence Day?” “Who wrote Jurassic Park?”

Who sings Wonderwall? — also, “When was Wonderwall released?” “The album Whats The Story Morning Glory?”

What is 2+2? — also, “What is the square root of 16?” “What’s 25% of 2,450?” (the latter useful to work out a tip)

What is 7 inches in centimetres? — also, most other conversions

How many calories are in an apple?

Set a timer for ten minutes — also, “set an alarm for 6am”, “wake me up at 7.30"

Start Player FM — opens the Player FM podcast app on your watch (assuming you have it installed). If you don’t, you should.

What is the definition of ‘enough’?

Any more? I’d love to know them. Drop me an email — james@cridland.net — or leave a comment here.