If you’ve splurged on one of the new Android Wear watches then you’ll know it’s very much a case of learning as you go. Since you probably won’t immediately know what these devices are capable of, so here are 12 useful voice commands you can experiment with to get your watch to do your bidding.
Oh and for each of these, you need to say the “OK Google” command first or tap your watch’s screen so that it’s listening.
1. “Call Dave”
Making calls from your wrist-based gadget is one of the most sci-fi (and let’s face it: dorky) stunts you can pull off with Android Wear. Say “call” and then the name of one of your contacts to speak to them; alternative use “email” then the name. If more than one contact match is found, you can tap to choose.
2. “Note to self”
Android Wear lets you take notes while you’re on the go. Say “note to self” then wait for the prompt to appear and speak out your message. The note is saved to the default app (configured in your smartphone’s Android Wear app) or emailed to your Gmail account if you don’t have an app set up.
3. “Where is London?”
A simple “where is” command is enough to bring up a thumbnail map that you can then choose to send to your phone for further inspection. You can also try “how far is x from y?” before specifying two places. If your watch gets confused about where you’re referring to then you’ll be given a list of options to choose from.
4. “Navigate to…”
Perhaps you don’t want to see where somewhere is on a map — you want to know the fastest route there. “Navigate to…” will look for routes and let you specify the mode of transportation along the way; alternatively say “get walking/biking/driving/public transportation directions” to be more precise.
5. “What’s the closest…”
Having so much compact technology built into a device you wear on your wrist is particularly helpful when you’re out and about. Use the “What’s the closest…” voice command to bring up details of the nearest Chinese restaurant, pub, hotel, school, movie theatre or whatever you want to find.
6. “Start stopwatch”
Android Wear doesn’t come with many apps built in but a stopwatch is one of them. Say “start stopwatch” if you want to time something. It (annoyingly) doesn’t actually start the clock, but it brings up the app on screen, which can be activated with a tap.
7. “Play music”
Give your watch the command to simply “play music” and you’ll find the default audio player (usually Google’s Play Music app) swings into action on your phone. You can also try the “listen to…” command and then specify a particular artist, album or song that you’d like to start playing.
8. “When is sunset?”
Hanging around with your camera on a mountaintop? Worried about getting home before darkness descends? Use the “when is sunset?” command to work out how much daylight you have left. The “when is sunrise” command is also available if you want to know when to hop outside and welcome the day with open arms, if you’re into that sort of thing.
9. “What is 2+2?”
Just like the Google search bar on the Web and in Chrome, your Android Wear watch can work out simple calculations and display the result as a card on screen. It can calculate some more complex queries as well (like square roots), though being able to say them clearly enough might pose a problem.
10. “What time is it in…”
Another voice command built on the back of Google’s gigantic database of global information, this one lets you quickly call up the time anywhere in the world. It’s a useful shortcut if you’re wondering whether you’re about to wake someone up on a video call or if you want to know why your jet lag is so bad.
11. “What’s the weather in…”
Google Now loves to report the weather, of course, and you can quickly call up the current conditions for any location using your Android Wear smartwatch. You can be more precise too by adding “this weekend” to your query. You won’t get much information back on such a small screen, but it’s still useful.
12. “Show me my steps”
Every current Android Wear device comes with an integrated pedometer and you can see your current progress (or lack of it) by saying “show me my steps” with the voice control activated. Swipe up to see your performance over the last few days and left to configure the integrated step-tracking app on your watch.