Want to check the weather, find out how old Harrison Ford is, or make a phone call… without actually touching your phone? Most recent Android phones can support voice commands when you start a sentence with “OK Google” (and when the feature is enabled from the Google Search app).

But… you’ll need an active internet connection to use OK Google. Try to use it when your phone isn’t connected to WiFi or a mobile data network and you’ll get an error message.

That could change soon. Android Police reports it looks like you might be able to perform some voice actions in the future even when your phone is offline.

ok google

Offline support isn’t available yet, but there’s code in the latest version of the Google Search app that mentions “Offline voice” capabilities and which suggest you’ll be able to do a few things even when you’re not connected to the internet. That includes playing music, turning on WiFi, sending text messages, or making a phone call.

It’s possible that future updates could add support for even more features… but fore the foreseeable future it’s likely that you’ll have access to fewer voice commands when you’re offline than when you have an active internet connection.

Android Police notes that other changes in the Google Search app suggest that support for adjusting screen brightness and volume with voice commands may also be on the way.

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign


Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Subscribe to Liliputing via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,507 other subscribers

11 replies on “OK Google offline voice commands coming to Android?”

  1. That would be excellent, I’m frequently out of data/wifi coverage.

  2. People are way too comfortable with devices that listen to them. They worry about a camera watching them walk down the street, but are completely okay with a device that listens to them 100% of the time, no matter where they are or what they are doing. Crazy.

    1. I actually find the idea funny: some guy wasting his life, or some computer wasting its cycles, listening in on my mostly extremely boring life. What does it matter ?

      1. Actually, my phone wasting power is another reason I don’t like the idea. But the topic comes up in other areas too, such as smartTVs that listen for voice commands.

        Edit: What if it incorrectly thinks you said to call someone that you are talking about, and that person is then listening to you without your knowing about it? That’s not so far fetched.

        1. In cases like that, the device would typically give some audible confirmation of that action, like saying “Calling Fred.”

          Voice recognition systems can safeguard against accidental functions by going what Google Voice does already — only activate on certain phrases, like “OK Google.” In future, I suspect the systems will be smart enough to tell the difference between a direct command and the voice equivalent of a butt dial (which is essentially the already-exists-equivalent!).

          1. I just used Google’s VR system (after hitting the microphone symbol) on my Android phone, and it didn’t do anything like that. It just put the call through.

          2. Either way, the problem is easily solved if it becomes a big enough issue.

    2. This is why I refuse to eat in restaurants. The waiter or waitress is constantly monitoring me to see if I need anything. Even when it doesn’t seem like they are paying attention and are across the room I have waved and then they come over. So clearly they were watching me the whole time. I can’t believe people keep falling for this and allow themselves to be surveilled in such a way. And it’s so wasteful. That person could be working on curing cancer but instead they are watching me eat.
      I also fired my secretary. She kept making notes of who I would meeting with and when. She had accumulated a lot of personal knowledge about me. She knew what I liked to eat and the time of day I preferred to travel. She knew my wife’s favorite flowers. She knew which meeting room I preferred. She knew when I’d take vacation and where I went. It was the most insane invasion of privacy I had ever seen.
      I can’t believe people let this stuff go on.

      1. I think you totally missed my point. Your first paragraph is exactly the situation that I don’t see why people get upset, but they do.

Comments are closed.