The Complete Guide to Samsung S Voice and How to Use it Effectively

Sara Lin

Say What You Want

S Voice is an intelligent personal assistant exclusive to Samsung that allows you to control your device with vocal commands. Whether your hands are tied up or you’re just looking for a shortcut, S Voice will come in handy and streamline your mobile experience.

How to use S Voice

A good mobile app should be user-friendly, and with S Voice it’s as easy as following two basic steps.

  1. Open S Voice in one of three ways:
    – Press the S Voice icon under Apps OR
    – Double Press the Home Button OR
    – Say the Wake-up Command when on Lock Screen (this feature must be enabled, but we’ll get to that)
  2. Say what you want to do
    As long as S Voice is listening, the app will either converse with you, execute your request, or offer to perform a web search on what you’ve said.

Sounds pretty simple, right? Now let’s take a look at what S Voice can do for you.

S Voice

What S Voice Can Do

  • Call a number
  • Search for a contact
  • Write and send a text message
  • Open another application
  • Provide directions
  • Tell you about the weather
  • Calculate tips
  • Add an event to your calendar
  • Set an alarm
  • Update your Facebook/Twitter
  • Conduct a web search
  • Play music
  • Toggle Wi-Fi on/off
  • Turn hands-free mode on/off
  • Write a memo
  • Record your voice
  • Solve math problems
  • Flirt with you

Use S Voice to create a calendar event Converse with S Voice, or

S Voice, who says her name is Galaxy, can be pretty sweet at times. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get her to date me!

Comparing Galaxy to Samantha from  Rejected!

Hands-Free Mode

Also known as driving mode, hands-free mode reads incoming text messages aloud and allows you to answer calls with a voice command. This is great for driving, but make sure to turn this off when you’re done – especially if you’re going to work or the movies.

Activate hands-free mode by saying “Turn on hands-free mode” or “Turn driving mode on”.
Disable hands-free mode by saying “Hands-free mode off” or “Turn driving mode off”.

How to Know if S Voice is Listening

S Voice must listen for vocal input in order for your commands to be received. However, it doesn’t actively listen all the time because first off, that would be creepy, and secondly, it would drain a lot of battery.

The blue light means S Voice is ready to receive your command

In order to tell if S Voice is actively listening to your vocal input, check that the microphone button is illuminated. When you first open the app, Galaxy should be listening already, and the microphone button should glow blue.

However, if no voice input is detected, S Voice will go idle and require you to tap the microphone button or say your wake-up command before you can continue.

S Voice is inactive. Press the microphone button or say your wake-up command to continue.

Once it’s activated, wait for the beep to make sure your command is fully heard. In certain situations S Voice will prompt you again for more information. But if your Galaxy determines no more information is required, it may go idle and provide a “Say your wake-up command to wake me up” message.

Personalize Your Settings

Open the S Voice app and tap the menu button. Next, select the Settings button that pops up. This will allow you to access the app’s list of customizable features. Browse through these features and choose what works best for you.

S Voice Settings

The default wake-up command is “Hi, Galaxy”, but you can change it to any 3-5 syllable phrase you’d like. To do this, make sure wake up commands are enabled and then select Set wake-up command. This should bring you to a screen where you can save various wake-up functions to respond to your own phrasing and accent.

Select Wake up S Voice and you will be prompted to repeat the phrase of your choice 4 times.

Set wake-up commands

Wake-up commands can be used at the Lock Screen (enable this feature under Settings) or when the app is currently open. Once set, your individualized commands will be passively detected. Besides opening S Voice, wake-up commands can also be set for the following:

Customize your wake-up commands

Integrate S Voice with other Voice Command Options on Your Samsung Device

Asking to compose an email will return an error in S Voice, but there are still various ways to use voice commands to dictate your message. Instead of asking S Voice to write an email, ask S Voice to open your email app. Begin a blank email, go to the composition box, and hit the microphone icon on your virtual keyboard. I’ve found the stock Jellybean keyboard to be especially accurate with vocal input.

Tap the microphone button on your keyboard to use voice for email, notes, or messages The stock keyboard that came with my Jellybean update works well with voice commands

Another useful tool is Google Now, which provides news, weather updates, and voice command options. You can use the standard Google app to compose an email and add recipients, but the application isn’t fully refined; after the initial block of text is input, Google will only Send or Cancel using voice commands, so if you want to edit your text or continue dictation, you’re brought to the email app anyway.

Google Now features local updates, news, and voice commands

Next Generation S Voice

A purported leak of the Galaxy S5 KitKat UI shows a potentially significant update of S Voice. The rumored next-gen layout sports a basic, clean look. Here’s a sneak peek:

(Photo credits: SAMmobile.)

The app provides tips on what to say The leaked UI is significantly different

The wide variety of languages that may be available A list of S Voice capabilities and suitable commands

Find out further news about the Galaxy S5 and potential S Voice updates from the MWC (Mobile World Congress), which took place on February 24th, 2014.

Overall, S Voice remains an underrated feature on Samsung Galaxy phones and hopefully you’ve found a tip or two in this article to make you get back to it and use it productively.

Also See
#Android apps#driving

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Sara Lin

Written By

Sara Lin

Sara Lin is a writer who loves kittens, sushi, and gaming. Besides playing with her phone too often, she also tends to get lost in good novels and inattentively sing out loud.