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How to use voice control in Android 11

How to use voice control in Android 11

In this article

How to enable Voice Access
How to use Voice Access to control your device
Numbers and grid overlays
Voice Access tutorial
How to enable the Voice Access shortcut
Alternative ways to activate Voice Access
How to enable the on-screen Activation button to start Voice Access
How to enable a physical key to start Voice Access


How to enable Voice Access

Voice Access does not come pre-installed on Android devices so you will need to download it from Google’s Play store. Download Voice Access from the Google Play store 

Once installed, you can open Voice Access from the Accessibility settings menu:

  1. To access the Accessibility features on your Android device open the Settings app .
  2. In the Settings app, select Accessibility from the list.
  3. On the Accessibility screen, under the Downloaded services section, select Voice Access.
  4. On the Voice Access screen, set the toggle switch for Use Voice Access to On.
  5. You will receive an alert informing you that Voice Access needs to have full control of your device.  If you are happy to proceed, select Allow.

How to use Voice Access to control your device

Voice Access works best using the voice command “OK Google”. To set-up “OK Google” follow the instructions at the end of this article if it is not already activated.

Starting Voice Access:

  • If you are using the “OK Google" command, say “OK Google, start Voice Access” to start Voice Access.
  • Otherwise, slide down from the top of the screen to reveal the notification shade. Select the Voice Access, Tap to start notification.
  • Note: There are other methods you can use to start Voice Access. See the Alternative ways to activate Voice Access section at the end of this article for more information.

When Voice Access is active, you will see an indicator  in the corner of your screen to show Voice Access is listening.

You can now start speaking commands to control your device.

Examples of commands

  • Open {app name} 
  • Scroll up/down
  • Turn volume up/down
  • Swipe down (to refresh email or Twitter for instance)
  • Go back (to return to the previous screen)
  • Go home
  • Show notifications
  • Tap {item name}
  • Long press {item name}
  • Type {word or phrase}
  • Delete {word or phrase}
  • Select all text

Visit Google’s online Voice Access commands guide for a list of all the commands you can use to control your device.


Numbers and grid overlays

The real power of Voice Control comes when you use overlays. You can ask to show numbers or a grid.

When you say “show numbers”, a number will appear next to each item on the screen. You can then say the number for the item you would like to select.

If selection requires more precision, you can say “show grid” to overlay a numbered grid. Choose the number of the grid square that covers the are you would like to select.

A smaller numbered grid will appear covering your chosen area, enabling you to refine your selection.


Voice Access tutorial

To access the built-in Voice Access tutorial:

  1. To access the Accessibility features on your Android device open the Settings app .
  2. In the Settings app, select Accessibility from the list.
  3. On the Accessibility screen, under the Downloaded services section, select Voice Access.
  4. On the Voice Access screen, select Settings.
  5. On the Settings screen, select Open tutorial and follow the on-screen instructions.

How to enable the Voice Access shortcut

With the Voice Access shortcut, you can turn Voice Access on or off by pressing and holding both volume buttons. To enable the shortcut:

  1. To access the Accessibility features on your Android device open the Settings app .
  2. In the Settings app, select Accessibility from the list.
  3. On the Accessibility screen, under the Downloaded services section, select Voice Access.
  4. On the Voice Access screen, set the toggle switch for Voice Access shortcut to On.
  5. You will receive an alert explaining how to use the shortcut to start and stop Voice Access by holding down both volume buttons. Select OK.

Alternative ways to activate Voice Access

As well as using "OK Google" to start Voice Access you can also use:

  • An on-screen button - called the Activation button.
  • A physical button such as an external keyboard key, an adaptive switch or a volume key on your device.

How to enable the on-screen Activation button to start Voice Access

  1. To access the Accessibility features on your Android device open the Settings app .
  2. In the Settings app, select Accessibility from the list.
  3. On the Accessibility screen, under the Downloaded services section, select Voice Access.
  4. On the Voice Access screen, select Settings.
  5. On the Voice Access Settings screen, set the toggle switch for Activation button to On.
  6. The activation button  will appear on the screen.

How to use the Activation button

  1. Select the button  to start Voice Access.
  2. To move the button, touch and hold the button then drag it to a new position.

How to enable a physical key to start Voice Access

If you are using an external keyboard or an adaptive switch, you can use it to start and stop Voice Access.

  1. To access the Accessibility features on your Android device open the Settings app .
  2. In the Settings app, select Accessibility from the list.
  3. On the Accessibility screen, under the Downloaded services section, select Voice Access.
  4. On the Voice Access screen, select Settings.
  5. On the Voice Access Settings screen, scroll down and select Configure activation key.
  6. On the next screen, select Activation key.
  7. When prompted, press the key combination you would like to use.
  8. Next, select Activation behaviour.
  9. Choose from:
    • Tap to start, tap to stop.
    • Press and hold to start, release to stop.

How to set-up the “OK Google” voice command

  1. Open the Google app .
  2. Select More in the bottom right.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. On the next screen, select Voice.
  5. Select Voice Match.
  6. Select Hey Google to set the toggle switch to On.

Note: we have written these instructions for devices running the standard version of the Android operating system. You may find some minor presentation differences if the manufacturer has customised the theme.

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