How to Set Up 'Ok Google' on Any Device

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OK Google on an iPhone

 Google, Inc

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Google Assistant includes an Ok Google feature where you can say that phrase to make your device start listening to your voice. From there, you can do all sorts of things by talking directly with Google's AI-based virtual assistant.

Many of Google's devices come with Google Assistant built-in and ready to go right out of the box. This is true for Google Home, for example. However, if you want the option to use Ok Google on your smartphone or tablet, there might be some extra steps involved.

Keep reading to learn about the requirements your device must meet before you can activate Google Assistant and communicate with it hands-free.

Set Up 'Ok Google' on Android

To see if your Android device is already prepared to use Google Assistant, say Hey Google or Ok Google, or press and hold the home button. Select TURN ON when you see the prompt.

Turn on google assistant on Android

If that doesn't work, keep in mind what you need to use Google Assistant on your Android:

Ok Google works when your device is locked, too, but only if you're running Android 8.0 or higher.

Here's how to check those requirements, in order:

  1. Update the Google app to the latest version. You can check which version it's at right now by opening the Google app and going to More > Settings > About.

    Google App more, settings, about screens
  2. Open Google Play services on Google Play, and select Install if you see it.

  3. Enable developer mode and then go to Settings > System > Advanced > Developer options > Memory to check that you have over 1 GB of memory.

    Android system, developer options, memory use screens
  4. Confirm that your phone or tablet is set to a language on the list mentioned above. The language settings are here: Settings > System > Languages & input > Languages.

    Android system, languages and input, and languages screens

Set Up 'Ok Google' on iPhone or iPad

iOS devices must be running iOS 10 or higher and have to be set to one of the languages listed on this page. Unlike Android devices, Google Assistant isn't included on iPhone or iPad, so you have to download the mobile app.

  1. Sign in with your Google account when asked.

  2. Select CONTINUE on the page that talks about Google Partners.

    Google Assistant Partners screen on iPad
  3. Press Allow on the prompt about sending notifications. You can decline if you don't want to get alerts from Google Assistant.

  4. Optionally enroll to get updates from Google about new features, offers, and other things for Google Assistant, and then press NEXT.

  5. When asked about microphone access, select OK. This is required if you want to be able to speak to Google Assistant.

    Prompt from Google Assistant to access the microphone on iPad

Using Ok Google or Hey Google to talk with Google Assistant isn't as streamlined as it is on Android. The Google Assistant app for iOS has to be open and active (i.e., that's the app on the screen that you see) for it to respond to your voice.

However, you can use Siri to open Google Assistant if you want a somewhat hands-free experience, from where you can say Hey Google. Learn how to use Google Assistant on iPhone for help.

If Google Assistant doesn't respond to your voice, learn how to fix it. If you find yourself not using the Ok Google feature, you can turn it off.

Set Up 'Ok Google' on Apple Watch

Your Apple Watch can respond to Ok Google as well, and setup is extremely easy.

  1. Tap the screen to wake up the watch if the display is dim.

  2. Swipe down from the top and select the settings icon (it looks like a gear).

  3. Tap Personalization.

  4. Turn on "OK Google" detection.