Enable The Nexus 5’s ‘Ok Google’ Feature Outside Of The U.S. [Tip]


If you recently picked up a new Nexus 5, and you live outside of the United States, you may have noticed that saying “Ok Google” to activate its voice-controlled assistant doesn’t work — no matter how loud you shout it. That’s because it isn’t designed to work internationally yet, but there is a really simple way to enable it.


If you’re unfamiliar with this feature, it lets you access Android’s built-in voice assistant from the home screen without actually touching your phone. All you have to say is “Ok Google,” and then tell it what you want it to do — set a reminder, send a text, find you directions, or play some music.

It’s one of the features Google has been pushing most, and it’s being talked about in every Nexus 5 review, so you might be surprised to see it’s not available internationally yet. At least not out of the box — but here’s what you need to do to enable it yourself:

  1. Open up the Settings app and tap “language & input”2013-11-14 17.24.01
  2. Select “Voice Search” and then “Language”
  3. Change the language to “English (US)”

Of course, this won’t work if you don’t speak English, but I’ve been using it in the U.K. for a couple of days now and it’s been just fine. Admittedly I’ve only ever given it simple commands, but I don’t remember it getting one wrong yet.