How to Trigger Google Now from Any Screen on Any Android Phone

At Google I/O this year Sunder Pichai made it clear that Google want to ‘hear’ more from you. Google is betting big on Voice enabled and contextually aware applications for the future of Android. It is already a big part of Android Wear devices and Android Auto and Google strongly believes that you need it on your smartphone as well.

Google Now Launcher which debuted with Nexus 5 allowed users to prompt Ok Google from any screen and trigger Google search conveniently, Google is now extending this functionality to a lot more devices and here is how you can activate this functionality on your smartphone.

Google Now

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Google Now allows you to trigger search from any screen once you prompt OK Google. You will however need a smartphone with Android 4.3 jelly bean or later version of Android. The feature is not available for Indian ascents. You will have to keep Voice input to US ascents for this feature to work

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To use this feature make sure that you have Google search 3.5.14 or above installed. You will also have to turn on your Audio history setting turned on (settings>>Voice>> Audio History)Next tab on menu button and hit settings>>voice>>Ok Google Detection. Now you can check lock-screen and from any-screen options as per your choice. Google will now test your voice three times before activating this feature.

If you still can’t find OK Google Detection option in your settings menu. Go to Google Now and search for “OK Google Everywhere”. Once you are done you can roll back to Google Now and check the settings menu again, you will have the audio history and Ok Google detection option, if the language is set to English (US)and if you are using Android 4.3 or higher.

Open Mic +

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In case you are stuck on older android version, you can always get OK Google to work for you using a simple app Open Mic+. The app also gives you option to launch Google Now with a user defined Hot phrase but that doesn’t seem to work as efficiently. You also get the option to trigger Google Search from lock screen. You can also trigger the app by waving in front of your proximity sensor.

Nova Launcher

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There is one other partial workaround for those stuck on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Apart from bringing some new Android L features, the latest version of Nova Launcher also brings some adds the option to trigger Google Now using hot word detection. Using this method, you can not trigger Google search from within an app. You can only prompt it from app drawer, home screen or other launcher screens, when you are using an older version of android. If you are using a pro version, you can also assign simple swipe up gesture or double tap gesture for Google Now, which works flawlessly.

Conclusion

It’s weird talking to your phone in public places, but avid Google Now users will agree that it saves a lot of hazel during your languor period. It’s quite convenient to ask Google Now to set an alarm for you or to set a reminder for you instead of opening the app and toggling through options, especially when you are about to sleep. With wearables catching up, you will find yourself talking to your gadgets even more, so go ahead and give it a try.