For some reason stock Android launches the Google Voice Dialer when you activate the phone through a bluetooth headset. With Google Now available though it makes Voice Dialer look a bit like having your calls routed by a two year old. Unfortunately Google doesn’t give any easy options to enable Google Now as the default choice for bluetooth headsets, luckily there is a simple hack to let us to it.
Firstly I came across this method via a contact on Google+ (Eoghann Irving), and he deserves all the credit.
I’ve tested this extensively and so have a few others I know and it works 100% better than Voice Dialer but not 100%. The only real problem seems to be on occasion you have to press the bluetooth button twice, a minor inconvience compared to Voice Dialer.
Anyway enough talk onto the solution,
- Download Bluetooth Launch (it’s free)
- Launch it, and scroll down to Google Search and expand it
- Enable the sub-option “com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox.VoiceSearchActivity”
- Close Bluetooth Launch, (you won’t be needing it again)
- Launch Google Now (hold Home button and then swipe up), and press the microphone button.
- Access the Menu in the bottom right]
- Go to Settings > Voice and enable Bluetooth Headset option if not ticked already
- Connect your bluetooth headset and activate the button (Double press on most single primary button headsets)
- Android should now ask whether you want to launch via Bluetooth Launcher or Google Search, select Bluetooth Launcher, and Just Once
- Test by asking a question e.g. “How tall is the Eiffel Tower”
- If all is working repeat step 9 but this time select Always.
Now every time you have a bluetooth headset enabled you can access Google Now. Below are some useful phrases to ask while driving etc.
“How long will it take me to get to Ocean Terminal” – This will give you the current travel time
“Navigate me to Ocean Terminal” – This will calculate directions then launch Navigation app and start Navigation
“Call Home” – Will call the number associated with contact Home
You can also text and email people but those functions will require a touch of the screen to actually send, for example
“Text James Where Are You” – Will compose the message but you’ll still have to press send.
After some user reports it has came to my attention that this workaround may not work properly on Samsung devices. Without direct access to a Samsung device to test I can only surmise that this is due to Samsung’s heavy customization of Android.