How To Use Utter For Android

An excellent voice command app for your phone

A businessman standing on top of ladder, talking into large megaphone that is being supported by coworker
Utter promises low memory usage and fast functionality, all without requiring a 3G/4G or WiFi connection.

 Rocco Baviera / Getty Images

Utter is a voice command app that uses speech recognition algorithms in conjunction with Google Voice/Now.

Many of us are familiar with the nearly ubiquitous voice assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Android’s Google Now, and/or Microsoft’s Cortana. While profoundly well-known (particularly Alexa, which comes integrated in Amazon Echo devices) – those aren’t the only voice recognition apps available.

Although still in development, Utter! Voice Commands Beta (available via Google Play for Android devices) promises low memory usage and fast functionality, all without requiring a 3G/4G or Wi-Fi connection. Plus, it’s loaded with options – perfect for those who love customizing details. Here’s how Utter may be the productivity app you need!

The information below should apply no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.

What Is Utter?

When it comes to mobile productivity, it’s tough to beat the portable power of a smartphone. And if you’re the type that likes to delegate and dictate, using a voice command app can make that smartphone feel less like a tool and more like an interactive personal assistant.

Those using a smartphone/tablet running Android OS 4.1 (Jelly Bean) or later can take advantage of offline voice recognition with Utter – useful for when cell service is weak and Wi-Fi is nonexistent. The app runs in the background, so you can be doing other things and still have access to your Utter voice assistant.

While Utter may not be the conversationalist like Siri or Alexa, it offers a great degree of customization and control. You can create and edit commands and phrases, interact/link with other apps (surprisingly seamless) on the device, toggle hardware (e.g. GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi, etc.), have notifications read to you, and more. It also does well to respond to and confirm the commands you give. Although Utter works right away, new users will definitely want to go through the built-in tutorial for a debriefing on the various screens and app settings.

How to Use Utter

After installing Utter! Voice Commands Beta, launch the app, read the terms of service, and hit accept to continue. You’ll then be prompted to choose a voice recognition engine and a default language. Once that’s complete, the app presents its list of commands, settings, and information. Utter may not have the most pretty of interfaces, but it gets the job done. Here’s how you should get started:

  1. Voice Tutorial: It’s worth spending the few minutes to listen to the voice tutorial as it flips through several screens and explains features. There is a bit to take in with the Utter app, which is made easier when the most important elements have been described to you. Don’t worry; the Utter voice is pleasant and not without a sense of humor.
  2. User Guide: At the very least, take a look at the help topics available for future reference. If you’re interested in learning more, tapping a topic will launch your web browser to a forum page containing a description/discussion.
  3. View Command List: Yes, we’re certain you’re quite eager to dive right in. But it’s more effective to first see what you can say versus randomly guessing (and feeling frustrated if/when Utter doesn’t respond the way you intend). Tapping on a command in the list will prompt a voice explanation about how to use the command. Although some can be a bit long/thorough, you can tap any command in the list to stop the voice explanation.

Now that you’ve been familiarized with the menu layout and app commands, the best way to learn Utter is by doing. You can activate Utter anytime by clicking on the notification/icon in your device’s drop-down menu. Alternately, you can change the ‘Wake-up-Phrase’ settings so that Utter will always be listening and ready (making it a totally hands-free experience). Here are some quick commands that you might find instantly useful:

  • Device Settings: Need to change a system setting and want to skip all the menu tapping to get there? Utter recognizes over two dozen device settings. Say the words, and what you want immediately pops up.
  • Text/Tweet/Facebook Post: Utter facilitates messaging by listening to your voice dictation, repeating/confirming your words (excellent accuracy), and sending once you give the ok. You can also opt to proofread first, which opens up the app/message for editing.
  • Toggle: Driving mode, Wi-Fi, mobile data, Bluetooth, Airplane mode, GPS, NFC, Hot Spot, and notifications can all be toggled on/off by voice.