How to enable the OK, Google hotword from all screens (rooted KitKat only)

by: Bogdan PetrovanJuly 2, 2014


okay google now voice commands

Last week Google rolled out an update to its Search app that brought an awesome piece of functionality – the ability to use the “OK, Google” hotword from any screen, without having to switch to Google Now first.

Unfortunately, Google seems to be enabling the feature on a per-user basis, meaning that you may not be able to activate it, even if you’re on the latest version of the Search app, which is 3.5.15. Also, Google appears to have slowed or possibly even halted the rollout of the feature, leaving many anxious users high and dry.

If you can’t wait to use voice commands from anywhere in the phone, there’s a relatively simple way to activate it manually, courtesy of Adam Lawrence. Be warned that the method requires KitKat, root access, and you can’t use it on the L release.

The method uses a special app called UnleashTheGoogle, which activates the Debug options in the Search app. You will need the latest versions of Search and Play Services installed.

Here are the steps:

  • Install UnleashTheGoogle and grant it Superuser access.
  • Force stop Google Search.
  • In Search settings, access the “Config Flags” option from the new “Dogfood” section
  • In the list of flags, find the “e300_voice_everywhere” and “enable e300” flags and set both of them to ON.
  • In the same list of flags, select the “speaker_id_supported_locales” and in the dialog enter “en-US” and then tap OK.
  • Scroll down and select “Save Config Settings”. You should now be able to activate the feature.
  • In Search settings, select Voice, then “OK, Google Detection”, then check the “From any screen” option. This will launch a one-time training process that will allow the app to recognize your voice. Accept the terms and you are good to go.

If you want to undo the changes, you can uninstall the updates to the Search app from the App Info screen.

Let us know if the method works for you.

  • GeezGuys

    Is been posted everywhere that this method still doesn’t work. It does make the audio history option show up, but not the voice everywhere check boxes…

    • Captain Spaulding

      It worked for me on my LG G2.

      • GeezGuys

        Well I’m on a Verizon LG G2 also, running 4.4.4 Cyanogenmod, but no workie…

        You prob already had it turned on server side in your account and just need audio history like the ones that this worked for. Basically post should be retitled as “How to enable Audio History for those that need it so they can turn on Google Now everywhere” lolol

        • Captain Spaulding

          Good point, I didn’t check to see if it was already there. Also, mine is a D800 (AT&T), that could make a difference.

        • Peter Blanco

          Same here, VZW G2 on CM nightlies, no dice. BUT it works on CloudyG3, what the heck?

    • GeezGuys

      I’m on a Verizon LG G2 also, running 4.4.4 Cyanogenmod, but no workie…

      You prob already had it turned on server side in your account and just need audio history like the ones that this worked for. Basically post should be retitled as “How to enable Audio History for those that need it so they can turn on Google Now everywhere” lol

    • Chris

      Works for me! :D Note 2 on android 4.4.2

  • Jayfeather787

    Don’t see those flags.

    • Jayfeather787

      Never mind just updated the app. I see the flags now.

      • Jayfeather787

        It works

  • John Michaels

    On my Galaxy S4 i337, the debug toggles were already enabled after installing UnleashTheGoogle, despite not having the enhanced functionality before installation (I checked just beforehand). Installing UnleashTheGoogle and enabling Audio History was all it took to enable hotword functionality everywhere.

    I tried this method a few days ago, when the updated Search APK was posted everywhere along with UTG, and that version did not work for me, despite it being 3.5.15. However, yesterday’s update pushed through Play (version allowed UTG to work properly. I also notice with this update, there is now flight price tracking in the dogfood section.

  • Charles Hobbs

    You guys left out the second to last step about enabling “Audio History”. But still this method doesn’t work…

  • Brandon Miranda

    Worked as advertised. So happy

  • Brandon Phillips

    Worked perfectly for me

  • Captain Spaulding
  • Fernando Cordova

    I have Google serach version and Play Services 5.0. I followed these instructions and it works perfectly. Quick question, If I ununstall UTG now will the configurations remain or they would be lost?

  • fredphoesh

    It didnt work for me either THEN I changed the language Audio History, and also changed from UK to US english, and it then gave the everywhere option. CM11 Kitkat on Nexus 5.

  • daniel hariri

    cn we change the hotword… let say ‘hello Jarvis’ it would be super cool!!

    • coggy9

      You could have in older versions. It was under micro_hotword_locales or something. Now you can’t change it, as the config flag has been removed, and hotword data has been built into a file.

  • Jaime

    Only works for US English.

  • Carl Conlon

    Works great on galaxy s4 on 4.4.2

  • Richard Riker

    At least with G2 4.4.2 it doesn’t work for german (set to de-DE instead of en-US), so it crashes after training the voice recognition. But if I would turn everything to US-english I think it would work. And the menue under “OK, Google Detection” stays after uninstalling UnleashTheGoogle, uninstalling the updates from Google Search and reupdating it over the PlayStore, but the settings under the first aren’t available for the moment in German.

  • Stanry Tan

    I’m from Singapore. I can activate the OK Google on my Samsung s4 on KitKat 4.4.2 without rooting.

    • Richard Gao

      did you read the article?

    • Jordan Pt

      Only works if language is set to en-US

  • Jon George

    Well it worked for me rather flawlessly on my Note3 running X-Note & SnapKat. ..I’ve been fretting over this damn option since I heard about

  • Mohammed Furqaan

    I found the solution… Just turn off and turn on Google now… You will find the option to enable it from any screen

    • coggy9

      That will only work if Google has given your account access. This method forces it on, regardless of account status.

    • noneedforthat

      Doesn’t work for me, no anyscreen option!!! Help please?

  • Gary Tabar Jr.

    I can’t get the new search or play services to install. Both downloaded fine from mega, but both apk files fail to install.
    (rooted Galaxy s3 with the latest cm11)

    • andyroo77

      Have same issue, got both apk files from mega as linked but trying to install returns: x App not installed.
      I have “Install apps from other sources” enabled. Running bobcat rom (kitkat) on rooted Galaxy Note 3 (UK snapdragon version). Any one with any ideas?

      • Gareee

        I got mine working. Open system/languages/vocal search, and turn it off and then back on again. You’ll see the settings you need appear then.

  • Matti Dupre

    If you’re having problems, keep in mind that UnleashTheGoogle will not throw an error if it doesn’t have root privileges. Install SuperSu and/or the latest binaries first. That’s what worked for me at least.

  • Jayfeather787

    It works on Android L

  • Richard Gao

    Works on Note 3 N900A running 4.4.2 with KNOXRAID

  • Josh Phillips

    You guys are awesome, I’ve been wanting to get it working since I saw about it earlier this week and this worked perfectly
    Just some info for some people that this is not working for I had the latest version installed but the option under voice to turn on ok google everywhere was not available, this allowed it to be available and be turned on on my S5

  • Carlos Jose Carvajal Alvarez

    I got this update and it works great. Didn’t need to do this. Also my Nexus 5 is not rooted.

  • curryofdoom

    worked for me

  • Ryan Tombs

    This DID work for me. I DID NOT have it already enabled. This brought Audio History and the Google Now everywhere to me in the UK!

  • titoone

    All I did was download unleash the Google and presto it did it on its own. Thanks guy and it works like a charm. Galaxy s5 t-mobile.

  • There is no rooting necessary in order to use the OK-Google-Comand from Homescreen if you´re using Nova-Launcher

    • Peter Blanco

      This is from any screen, not just the launcher itself. Both are nice features though.

  • balag59

    Hey I’m on the latest google search and play services version. .i even have the audio history option toggle which i have turned on. .but even then if i go to “ok google” detection i just have one option ie from google search app. .any ideas on why im not getting the other options?Ive even tried using unleash the google app and method.Thanks in advance!!

  • jonefuroy

    rooted xperia z2 with GEL… works lika a charm! thanks

  • doode

    Worked for me as well. Easy peasy.

  • Didn’t work for me. I see the “Turn on Audio History” option now, but enabling it doesn’t add the required checkbox to have hotword detection everywhere :(

    • balag59

      exactly the same problem here!

  • Clubber

    I think it’s being rolled out more widely now. My wife and I both just got it on our devices.

    Works great. Glad we finally got it.

  • Alex Gouvea Vasconcelos

    It doesn’t work for me N5 (4.4.4) Brazilian Portuguese… Google Play Services 5.0.84; Google Search

  • jetscreamer01

    Android police just posted an easier method. Just type ” OK Google everywhere” in the Google search app, then just go to your Google account to activate it. It worked on my nexus 4.

    • [email protected]

      this method worked on my moto g with kk 4.4.2!!

      • ermajmoore

        before I looked at the check of $8543 , I accept …that…my
        neighbour woz like they say truley earning money parttime on their apple
        labtop. . there sisters neighbour has done this 4 only 19 months and by now
        cleared the debts on their house and bourt a gorgeous Ford . visit this site C­a­s­h­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

    • Remi

      (Aug 19th) Is it still working on your rooted nexus 5? The latest updates of search puts me back to having just the audio option but no more any screen etc, just that one line to check the ok google from google serach app. I uninstalledeverything and now lost the stting in UTG. Since now it is only showing ID, i can’t put it back. But even with it it didn’t work and had onlty the audio check thingy.

  • Denvertoad

    Works like a champ for me. HTC One M8, CM 11. If navigation, hands free from lock screen, works I’ll be truly happy.

  • Rob

    Is there anyway to remove the debug options after downloading unleashthegoogle?