Note: This article was first published on: Dec 12, 2013.
One of the best features of the new Google Experience Launcher is its support for Google Now‘s new “Ok Google” hotword. The hotword lets you open Google Now’s voice assistant feature by simply saying “Ok Google” to your Android device while on any one of the homescreens.
There have been complaints about how this feature is not available, by default, to users outside of the US. However, the “Ok Google” hotword isn’t actually disabled according to region and can be easily enabled in just two steps.
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How To Enable “Ok Google”
Firstly, take note that the hotword only works with the Google Experience Launcher. If you’re not using a Nexus 5, check out how to get the Google Experience Launcher on your Android 4.4 device.
Secondly, the hotword only works with the US English voice input. So, if you’re outside of the US but want to use the hotword, you have to change the language of your voice input.
To do this, go into Settings > Language & input. Scroll down and tap on Voice Search. You’ll see your currently selected voice input language at the top of the list of settings. Tap it, go into English… then select English (US).
Once you’ve done that, go back into the Language & input settings menu, then enter Voice Search again. You should now see an extra option that wasn’t there before, Hotword detection. Enable this and you’re good to go.
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