Did you know: 'Ok, Google' voice command comes crippled on Samsung's Galaxy S6, S Voice promoted instead

The 'Ok, Google' command is a staple of the Android platform's voice recognition capabilities: on most of the latest phones, you can say 'Ok, Google' anywhere and have the voice recognition window neatly pop up, but somewhat surprisingly, this option has been crippled on the Galaxy S6, and this decision seems intentional.

While initially at the very launch of the Galaxy S6 you could use the 'Ok, Google' command from any screen and even when the screen is off (while the phone is charging), now, after an update, you can only use 'Ok, Google' from the home screen (where you can also easily tap on the microphone icon in the search bar).

At the same time, Samsung's rival voice recognition service S-Voice had the advantage of a true, always-on functionality from the get-go, as users can shoot voice commands even with the screen off and the device off the charger. Now, it is also the only solution if you want to shout voice commands from any place within the phone as 'Ok, Google' seems intentionally crippled.

That's quite the disappointment, as it seems that Google's voice recognition engine is both faster and more powerful than Samsung's S-Voice.

We should, however, notice that it is not clear whether this change affects all the various Galaxy S6 model available across the globe. Do you still have the 'Ok, Google' command working from any screen? Let us know, and don't hesitate to also tell us about which particular S6 model you're using.

source: Reddit

Related phones

Galaxy S6
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 2100 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2550 mAh(23h 3G talk time)



1. Cicero

Posts: 1136; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Obsolete apps. Both are fast draining battery. But if you need it G voice is better.

22. engineer-1701d unregistered

the s voice is not defaulted on when you set up the phone it asks do you want to enable s-voice yes or no.

24. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Are these really battery drain functions though? I thought they used hardware specifically designed for voice monitoring that basically costs nothing tangible in terms of battery life. Hey, but look at it on the bright side, this is another example of how Samsung has made Touchwiz more useful for everyone.

2. Kruze

Posts: 1285; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

S Voice sucks banana balls.

3. soldier820

Posts: 115; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

that is a very interesting topic ... !!! please tell me more

19. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

Just try it... and see how bad it is compared to google now.

12. Mxyzptlk unregistered

S Voice was awful. I rather just use Now.

23. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Funny how, with every passing day, Samsung is becoming everything they once were against, trying to make butts of jokes of the company or companies they now try to emulate so badly. Good luck on your continuing journey to the promised land of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook. While you're packing, China is waiting in the wings, LG is looking over their shoulder, and Nokia and Sony are taking notes...

4. soldier820

Posts: 115; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Well..... and i still dont give a s**t....!!!!!!! POP Hold it down ....

5. bucky

Posts: 3790; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

correct me if im wrong here but are you making shoutouts on a phone website?

20. soldier820

Posts: 115; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

yes, because i like to live dangerously

6. Gadgety

Posts: 173; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

This is just a moronic move by Samsung. It's just like the fact there's no pen replacement for my Note 8.0 available in my local EU country, and Samsung won't ship within the EU. The EU is suing Google. Should bring down Samsung, too. So, yeah, Samsung cripple the devices to ship your non competitive stuff.

7. DFranch

Posts: 555; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

I got rid of my S5 because samsung crippled the voice calling with Svoice. It is so frustrating trying to make a call in my car (hands free) and having Svoice crap the bed every time.

8. wakkoism

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 11, 2014

I thought that S Voice could be disable? Did it changed in the S6?

10. tokuzumi

Posts: 1925; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

I'm wondering this too. If/when I get a S6, I'll just use the Google Now Launcher, and disable as much touchwiz as I can.

9. idolbds

Posts: 6; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

I noticed this very soon after taking ownership of my Galaxy S6 Edge. It only works on the home screen and if it's on. I agree that SVoice seems inferior and dated.

11. Japultra

Posts: 133; Member since: May 16, 2014

They need to add this functionality back. I'm never going to use S Voice.

13. jharo

Posts: 25; Member since: Jan 08, 2009

Mine is crippled. GS6 on VZW

14. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

No, I say leave it like it is.....this should make the EU commission realize there is no anti trust issue with Google, Android. If anything....they need to investigate Samsung for crippling a competing product.

15. DFranch

Posts: 555; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

On the S5 when the screen is locked (think hands free) they forced you to use either Svoice or this terrible dialer which was even worse then Svoice. It eventually led me to ditch the phone completely. I won't even consider another Samsung until they stop doing this. I have the Droid Turbo now, and even though it defaults to Moto Voice, if you disable it you can use google like the lord intended.

16. Andrewtst

Posts: 696; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Both I never use, I don't care.

17. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Wow, they should know better than this...

18. Colombianmax

Posts: 52; Member since: Dec 29, 2014

I love my GoogleNow and use it every day for just about everything.. If the S voice on the S6 is anything like my girlfriend's S3... then I am so sorry for all you S6 owners because S voice sucks lol My Google now will take commands and finish performing the task on my HTC One S before my gfs S voice is done SLOWLY repeating the command to her on the S3 lol

21. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

S6 flat on Verizon. S voice can be disabled (and has been on mine) I use Google now more than I ever have. Trying to give it a go. "OK Google" only works on the screen in which the google app is on. If that's not your home screen, then it does not work on the home screen. We do not have the option to turn on voice from any screen. Only turn on or off voice detection. it is still quite hit and miss. Right now, it did not work. I just opened the google app and closed it and now it works from the screen the google app is on. Closed all apps and it's not working again. So frustrating. Still does not work when locked and charging whether the screen is on or off. Nor unlocked even with the app running in the background. Please google fix this. Offer working versions for whatever Android version you're on. That has to be easier than trying to get one to work w/ everything. And I have already had to do a factory reset b/c it stopped working all-together.

25. daitran2015

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 27, 2015

Disable S Voice and OK Google will come back. Open S Voice -> Setting icon -> turn Voice Wake up off.

26. Fromann09

Posts: 1; Member since: May 29, 2015

I just got my Google voice "from any screen " option back. Oddly enough, I did not have any software updates recently. I'm rlocking a Sprint phone running Android 5.0.2

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.