Voice Commands for Android Auto for BMW/MINI Cooper

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How to set up Google Assistant in Android Auto?For anybody using Android
Auto (whether that’s the OEM BMW Android Auto activation or a quality
third-party Android Auto retrofit for BMW), Google Assistant is already
there, waiting to go. Just press and hold the voice command button on your
BMW’s steering wheel when you’re using Android Auto, and you can start
issuing commands.

As Android Auto is connected to your phone and Google account, all your
Google Assistant preferences are carried over to use with the full Android
Auto voice commands list. That means if you’re used to asking Google for
directions to home or work, your BMW is going to know where you’re headed,

For those without Android Auto. you’ll probably want to take a look at how
to retrofit Android Auto in your BMW ūüėČ But as a backup plan, Android devices
currently offer a special Google Assistant Driving Mode.

What does it do? Well, let’s start with what it doesn’t do, which explains
why the Google Assistant Driving Mode vs Android Auto contest is so

* It doesn’t use your BMW’s dashboard display.
* It doesn’t integrate with your iDrive controller or steering wheel
* It doesn’t use your BMW’s built-in microphone or other hardware.
In short, everything still happens on your phone (so you would need to
mount it in a cell phone holder on your dashboard to see anything). It’s more
a phone mode than a genuine infotainment system.

The aim is for your phone to realize you’re in your car and switch to a
more driver-friendly mode, with a greater focus on Google Assistant voice
commands. That either happens when your phone connects to your car via
Bluetooth, or when you manually switch into driving mode for example, by
saying hey Google, let’s drive.

In Google Assistant Driving Mode, it’s easier to ask for driving directions
to your next meeting. For any incoming calls on the way, Google Assistant
will announce the call and ask if you want to take it. A quick yes or no is
enough, so you won’t be fumbling around trying to pick up your phone.

Of course, the useful Google driving assistant commands don’t end there.
One of the things that makes BMW Android Auto safer and more convenient than
iDrive is the wider range of Android Auto features you can access with your
voice compared to using BMW voice commands.

As you’d expect, what to say depends on what you want to do, and Google
Assistant tries to make it as intuitive as possible.

Android Auto navigation commands
Android Auto navigation commandsLet’s say you want to use one of the
Android Auto navigation apps to find your way to a destination. How do you
let Google Assistant know where you want to go?

In fact, if you’re really deep into the Google ecosystem, you might not
even need to do it yourself; Android Auto can take it upon itself to turn
appointments in your Google Calendar into navigation suggestions, and let you
pull them up in the Android Auto Google Maps app.

When Google Assistant drops the ball, though, you can easily start using
Android Auto navigation apps by bringing up Google Assistant and saying
navigate to. followed by an address or place of interest. Or if you’ve got
addresses on your contacts, try navigate to .’s place; however you say where
you’re going, Google Assistant is usually smart enough to figure out where
you mean, so you’ll be on your way to your destination in no time.

You can choose from many popular navigation apps, including:

* Google Maps
* Waze
* TomTom AmiGO
* MapFactor Navigator
Android Auto text messaging commands
Android Auto text messaging commandsWith Android Auto, text messages are a
breeze, too. Sending an SMS through Google Assistant is as simple as saying
send a message to. and the name of the contact you’d like to message. You
might already be used to doing that from your phone for a little extra
convenience, but with Android Auto for BMW, it’s even more useful, letting
you keep your focus on the road.

You can also use the Android Auto WhatsApp app, or another support
messaging app. Just let Google Assistant know how you want to send the
message: send a message to . on WhatsApp. Pretty easy to remember ūüėČ

Sending messages is one thing, but reading them requires a little more
configuration. Primarily, you’ve got to make sure the Google app has
permission to read notifications from messaging apps you want to use with
Android Auto. As Android Auto takes its configuration from your phone, the
steps to set everything up happen before you’ve even set foot in the

1. Open settings on your Android device.
2. Navigate to Apps & notifications > Advanced > Special app
access > Notification access > Google.
3. Use the toggle switches to allow Google Assistant access to read your

With that done, asking Android Auto to read my messages will read out any
text messages you’ve received from SMS or messaging apps.

For multimedia messages, like pictures or videos, Google Assistant will
simply tell you that you received a picture message. As even Google’s AI
isn’t going to be able to describe it to you, you’ll have to wait until
you’ve parked up before you give it a look ūüėČ

Android Auto music apps commands
Android Auto music apps commandsOne of the most entertaining things you can
do with Android Auto voice commands, though, is play music from streaming
services like YouTube Music or Spotify. Android Auto, as expected, makes it
easy to pull up your favorite songs or playlist with your voice.

.OK, maybe easy wasn’t the right word though it depends on what you’re
listening to. Your city probably only has one 123 Main Street, so navigation
commands are going to work without too much trouble. But ask Google Assistant
to play Changes’, and are you going to get David Bowie or 2Pac? Of course you
can always say play Changes’ by 2Pac, but there can sometimes be a bit more
trial and error involved finding the right songs and playlists.

Like with messaging, you can also include .on YouTube Music to let Google
Assistant know where it should be getting the music from. As many people only
have one music streaming subscription, though, it’s usually best to set your
default music service, which you can do from your Android device:

1. Say Hey Google, open Assistant settings.
2. Tap the Music’ option.

1. Select from the available music services.

As music is more than just picking songs, there are also plenty of
intuitive commands to control playback:
* Pause
* Stop the music
* Continue playing
* Next song
* Previous song
* Turn it up
* Turn it down
* Volume to 50%
Don’t worry if you can’t remember everything; Google Assistant usually does
a good job of understanding your intentions, so whether you instinctively say
next or skip, Android Auto will do what you were expecting.

Android Auto Smart Home commands
Android Auto Smart Home commandsIf you’re really invested in Google
Assistant, you’ve probably also got some Google Home-enabled appliances, too,
like a Nest thermostat or Philips Hue lighting system.

As Android Auto uses the Google account you’re logged into on your phone,
as long as that account is also linked up with your Google Home smart home
system, you’ll also be able to give home automation commands from your BMW
through Android Auto. That means it’s easy to check your home security system
is active, control the temperature or switch on the lights ready for when you
get back.

The same commands you’re used to at home still apply, such as.
* What’s the status of my security?
* Lock the garage door
* Set the thermostat to . degrees
* Turn on the living room lights
And. why exactly would you want to control your house lights from your BMW?
Well, just as adding remote start to your BMW let’s you get your vehicle
ready and at a comfortable temperature before you set off, Android Auto’s
smart home commands let you set up a warm welcome at home after a hard

Android Auto daily commands
Of course, having to turn down the thermostat and switch off the lights and
lock the doors and . every time you leave the house is going to get a little
tiring. Probably easier to just do it by hand at that point, right?

Well, Google Home routines are made for exactly that kind of situation.
With a single command, like Hey Google, I’m leaving or Hey Google, let’s go
home, you can trigger a customizable set of actions. If nothing there quite
fits the bill, you can also create custom routines.

To add a new routine or configure an existing one, just open the Google
Home app on your phone and tap Routines.

But wait, I know what you’re thinking. All sounds so convenient, but surely
things go wrong every now and then? Well, you’d be. right,

The good news is that if you find Google Assistant not working with Android
Auto, there’s usually a simple solution.

* Firstly, you want to make sure you’re actually calling up Google
Assistant in the first place. In BMWs, you can do that by pressing and
holding the voice command button on the steering wheel until you hear the
beep. Of course, that’s exactly the same thing you do to use BMW’s own voice
assistant, so it’s worth making sure you’re actually talking to Google
Assistant. If not, it could suggest Android Auto voice commands isn’t
activated properly in your vehicle.

* If you’re definitely speaking to Google Assistant, another option could
be a problem with your BMW’s built-in microphone. Try making a call through
Android Auto, to check the other person hears you properly. If not, that’s a
sure sign something’s wrong.

* Of course, you also want to give Google Assistant the best possible
chance of hearing and understanding what you’re saying not easy in a car,
where road noise comes as standard. Add that to the fact virtual assistants
are known to struggle with some regional accents, and some people are going
to have a tough time getting their point across.

* One way to know if it’s Android Auto or *ahem* you is to try the same
voice commands on your phone. It’s possible you’re saying the wrong thing, or
have your language settings configured incorrectly, and trying on your phone
is going to give you the best chance of getting to the bottom of it.
If you do struggle getting Google Assistant to do what you say, you might
be tempted to switch it off altogether. It’s possible to do that on your
Android device, by opening the Google app, navigating to Settings > Google
Assistant > General and toggling off Google Assistant.

Keep in mind, though, that Android Auto is built around Google Assistant;
it’s taken for granted that your main means of navigating the menu is going
to be with your voice. That’s fair, because it’s the safest and easiest way
to use your apps while driving.

Instead of turning off Android Auto, you might prefer to just make it sound
a little different. For that, Google has provided a selection of male and
female voices.

On your phone, say hey Google, open Assistant settings and look for
Assistant voice under All settings. Just pick the voice you like best and
breathe new life into your virtual assistant.

As you can see, there are plenty of voice commands you can use with Android
Auto in your BMW whether it came activated from the factory, you activated
BMW original Android Auto or installed an Android Auto retrofit for BMW and
MINI. Know of any useful ones we missed?

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