Pixel 3 – How to Use OK Google

What’s so special about OK Google? The phrase is a vocal command that allows you to enable Google Assistant on your Pixel 3 or 3 XL. If enabled, you’ll be able to ask certain questions or issue a variety of commands.

Pixel 3 – How to Use OK Google

Voice commands allow you to set reminders, create calendar events, place calls and texts, send emails, take pictures, etc. This doesn’t always work flawlessly, but some users with good diction and clean accents do seem to enjoy it. If you want to give OK Google a try, here you’ll find out how to do it.

Google Assistant

First you have to check if Google Assistant is enabled. To do this, you can hold the Home button for a few seconds. If it’s on, you should see the following message:

‘Hi, how can I help you?’


The Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL work just like the previous versions. This means that if the assistant feature is disabled, you won’t be able to use OK Google.

Turn On ‘OK Google’

  1. Hold Down the Home Button
  2. Tap More
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Find and Select Devices
  5. Select Phone
  6. Enable OK Google
  7. Enable Unlock with Voice Match

This is an optional step. If you enable this feature, then OK Google will unlock your phone when it detects your voice.

What If Google Assistant Is Off?

There’s another way to enable OK Google. Even when the Google Assistant feature is disabled, you can still use voice commands and voice recognition-triggered actions. You just have to use a different route to enable them.

  1. Go to the Home Screen
  2. Tap Menu
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Select Voice
  5. Select Voice Match
  6. Enable Say ‘ OK Google’ Any Time
  7. Turn on Unlock with Voice Match

Again, this step is optional and has nothing to do with voice commands.

How to Improve Voice Recognition Accuracy

Voice recognition isn’t exactly in a good spot even today. Though the feature has improved over the years on smartphones and computers, you still need to fine tune it. The first and most important step is to teach Google Assistant to recognize your voice. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Go to the Home Screen
  2. Tap More
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Enable Google Assistant on Your Device
  5. Select Voice Model
  6. Delete Voice Model
  7. Enable OK Google Detection
  8. Follow the Instructions to Record a New Sample

On a brand new phone there should be no voice model visible in the list. If you’ve already recorded something, you can delete it and start fresh by following the next tips.

It’s important that you speak as clearly as possible. Enunciate your words and don’t rush through sentences. It also helps a lot if you do this in a quiet room with good acoustics and no echo. You also want to stay at a decent distance from the microphone.

If you get too close, you won’t sound clearer. That’s because the Pixel 3 and 3 XL smartphones don’t have amazing audio recording potential.

After recording a new sample, test out the feature to see if there are any improvements.

A Final Thought

After you have completed these steps, say ‘OK Google’ to see what happens. Just try not to judge the performance on how the feature responds against noisy backgrounds. If you’re having trouble using this feature despite having followed all the instructions outlined here, you may have a hardware problem. To check if this is the case, try out your camera to see if you can capture any audio.

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