How to Create Custom Voice Commands for Alexa and Google Home With Android and Tasker

By Eric Ravenscraft on April 20th, 2017

Tasker is one of the most powerful automation tools on Android. Plugins like AutoVoice let you expand Tasker’s core functionality to do even more cool things…like create custom voice commands for your Amazon Echo or Google Home. Here’s how to make your own voice commands.

The built in voice commands in Alexa and Google Home can do some cool things, but Tasker gives you almost complete control over your phone. So, using AutoVoice, you could set your phone to battery saving mode, read your notifications aloud, turn your PS4 on and off, and more. Tasker may not always be the most user-friendly app in the world, but you can build some pretty awesome profiles with it.

What You’ll Need

We’ll assume for the purposes of this article that you’re already familiar with Tasker. If you’re not, check out our guide here to learn the basics. Before you get started, you’ll also need the following:

  • A Google Home or Amazon Echo: Naturally, you’ll need to have one of these voice assistant devices in your living room if you’re going to talk to it. If you haven’t set one up, you can check out our guides to setting up an Amazon Echo or Google Home here.
  • An Android Phone: We’re using an Android app called Tasker for this, so you’ll need an Android phone—there’s no way around this. Thankfully, even older Android phones should work fine.
  • Tasker: This Android automation app lets you create triggers and tasks to manage your phone, or any remote device that you can control through your phone. It costs $2.99 on the Play Store.
  • AutoVoice: For our purposes, this plugin is where the real magic happens. AutoVoice is one of many handy plugins created by developer Joaoapps. AutoVoice comes with a free 7-day trial, but you can buy the AutoVoice Pro Unlock for $2.49.

Once you have everything installed, you’ll need to do a bit of setup before you can start creating your own custom voice commands.

Link AutoVoice to Your Google Home or Amazon Echo

As with anything involving Tasker, setting up AutoVoice will take more than a few steps. First, you’ll need to connect your Google Home or Amazon Echo to your AutoVoice account. If you’re using Google Home, open up the Google Home app and tap the menu icon in the top-left corner. Then, tap “More settings.”

 

Scroll down and tap Services. In the giant list of services, scroll down until you find AutoVoice. Fortunately, the list is alphabetical, so AutoVoice should be close to the top.

 

On the AutoVoice service screen, tap the words Link Account in blue. Choose the account you want to link—this should be the same one that you’re using on the phone that’s running Tasker—and give AutoVoice the permissions it needs.

 

If you’re using an Amazon Echo, you can connect the AutoVoice skill on the web. You can find it on Amazon’s website here. Head to that link, make sure you’re signed in, then click Enable.

Just like with Google Home, you’ll need to link your Google account and give it permission. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to move on to the fun part.

Create Your Own Custom AutoVoice Commands

Next, we’ll show you how to create your own voice commands. You can use these commands to trigger any task that you can make in Tasker, so use your imagination. For our guide, we’ll trigger a popup to keep things simple. To get started, open the AutoVoice app on your phone and tap AutoVoice Devices.

First, AutoVoice will ask for permission to view your contacts to determine which accounts are available on your phone. Tap Allow. Then, choose the same Google account you linked to the AutoVoice service on Google Home or Alexa and tap OK.

 

Next, open up the Tasker app on your phone. Tap the + symbol at the bottom of the screen to create a new Profile, then tap Event.

 

In the popup that appears, tap Plugin, then choose AutoVoice.

 

In the drop down list that appears, scroll to the bottom and choose Recognized.

On the next screen, there will be a bar at the top that says Configuration. Tap the pencil icon at the right of this bar.

This will take you to the AutoVoice configuration page. First, tap Commands at the top of the screen to enter your custom voice commands. You can add multiple trigger words or phrases separated by a comma if you want Google or Alexa to recognize multiple phrasings for the same command. For example, below we added “hello” and “hi” as commands. If AutoVoice hears either one, it will trigger the same task.

 

Next, tap Responses. Here, you can set how AutoVoice will respond to you. This gives you a verbal confirmation that AutoVoice received your command, plus it’s a nice way to make your voice assistant a little more conversational. In this case, we told AutoVoice to respond with “hi back at you.” This won’t actually trigger any tasks (we’ll do that part in a second), but it adds some nice flavor to your interaction.

Once you’ve added all the commands and responses you want for this task, tap the check box at the top to return to Tasker.

Back in Tasker, you’ll see that AutoVoice has filled in the configuration page. You shouldn’t need to change anything here. Just tap the back button at the top (or use your phone’s back button).

At this point, you can assign your command to any task you want. If you’ve already made a task in Tasker, you can assign it from your existing library. If you want to create your own, tap the New Task button and give it a name. In our case, we’ll name it Popup, but you should give yours a name based on whatever task you end up creating.

 

Your process will probably differ from our instructions after this, but we’ll finish our task just to demonstrate. On the task page, tap the + icon at the bottom to add a new action.

In the box that pops up, tap Alert, then choose Popup.

 

Under Text, write a message like “Hi everybody!” When you’re done, tap the back arrow at the top-left corner of the screen, or press your phone’s back button.

Now, it’s time to try your command out! Say “[Ok google/Alexa], tell Autovoice hello” and open your phone. You should see a popup that looks like the one below.

That should confirm that your AutoVoice command worked. You can replace this sample task with anything you want. Once again, check out our full Tasker guide for how to make more tasks.

Eric Ravenscraft covers smarthome tech for How-To Geek. He's a problem solver who never learned to say no to a project. When he's not fixing things, he's cosplaying at cons, playing video games, and watching too many comic book movies. You can follow him on Twitter or Instagram.

  • Published 04/20/17
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