How To: Listen & Reply to Text Messages Hands-Free

Listen & Reply to Text Messages Hands-Free

For some time now, iPhone owners have been able to use Siri to listen to and reply to text messages, but that functionality has been lacking on Android. That is, until Google silently rolled out a similar feature for Google Now (thanks to Android Police for the tip).

Perfect for driving or situations where you don't have your hands free—like when you're two-hand devouring homemade tots—the beauty of this function is that it seems to work for all Android devices running version 5.0.1 and higher (Lollipop+), regardless of manufacturer, custom skin, or messaging app.

Simply fire up voice detection by saying "OK Google," then say "show me my messages." This will bring up your last five text messages.

From there, you'll be presented with options to hear it or skip it. If you choose hear it, you'll be read the message, then presented with options to reply, repeat it, or go on to the next one—you can simply say "reply," "repeat," or "next."

When choosing to reply, you'll be able to dictate the message you want to send, then review it before sending it on its way.

This is a really handy feature, and while it may have taken Google some time to get it on Android, its implementation is fantastic, and its TTS service produces an elegant, pleasant voice. Give the feature a shot and let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Super cool! And just in time for me to use on all my long holiday drives!!

THANK YOU. You have just kept me from having to get a new phone. Samsung has excellent voice control for messages but when I broke mine, my only option for replacing it was an LG phone that had very, very hinky voice control. (All their documentation SAYS it will send a message by voice but in reality, my mileage varied greatly.)

You can also say "send a message" and it will walk you through sending a message to anyone in your address book, not just reading/replying to someone with an existing message thread. I'm going to go confirm that it all works with Bluetooth, which is where I'd be using voice commands to text anyway - while I'm driving. SO USEFUL if it will work.

Completely prehistoric! Windows phones have been reading/responding hands-free to text messages when on driving mode since 2003! Yes, that is before the birth of the iPhone! Plus, the Android system works so-so. You need to first ASK to see the latest text messages (and it will only show up to five!). I am still mourning MS's decision to stop supporting Windows Mobile!

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