You can do more with your voice: Say, ‘Hey Google’ on Android to command third-party apps

Jefferson Graham


Say, “Hey Google” to your Android phone, and you’ll be able to do more with your apps.

Previously, Google’s voice-enable Assistant could open apps. Now, your voice can direct Google to have apps perform many tasks: read news from Twitter, log calories on MyFitnessPal, play a playlist on Spotify or inquire about when your Walmart order will be arriving.

Fine print galore: You’ll need to update your Google search app to get the Assistant to respond to you, and it works only on Google’s Android mobile operating system, not Apple iOS.

Apple introduced similar features to have its Siri personal assistant open and control apps via the “Shortcuts” app in 2018.

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“People love their phones, but they don’t like typing,” says Baris Gultekin, a Google product manager. “We wanted to make it easier for them.”

The Google Assistant will be available on “the most popular” Android apps listed on Google’s Play app store.

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Some examples of new commands:

  • “Hey Google, search for candles on Etsy.”
  • “Hey Google, tighten my shoes with Nike Adapt.”
  • “Hey Google, order a smoothie on Postmates.”
  • “Hey Google, send snap with Cartoon Lens.”
  • “Hey Google, find Motivation Mix on Spotify.”
  • “Hey Google, check news on Twitter.”
  • “Hey Google, when is my Walmart order arriving?”

The complete list of apps working with the Assistant: Citi, Dunkin, Paypal, Wayfair, Wish, Uber, Yahoo Mail, Spotify, Postmates, My Fitness Pal, Mint, Discord, Walmart, Etsy, Snapchat, Twitter and Google apps such as Google Search, Maps and YouTube.

Users can say “Hey Google, show my shortcuts” to see which apps on their phone work with the Assistant.

Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter

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