Turn Your Old Android Device into a Smart Speaker

There are lots of things you can do with a spare Android phone: keep it as a backup, turn it into a baby monitor, your very own Google Home or even a smart speaker. I’m referring, of course, to those of you who of you like the idea of the Amazon Echo, or the Google Home, but you’d rather not spend any money on any of them.

Repurposing an old phone or tablet might bring you something as close as possible to your dream and I can assure you that there’s no programming involved, but just activating the always listen function on the device. These alternative smart speaker setups aren’t for everyone and the experience isn’t quite as seamless, but it can be fun to try out.

Get ready by preparing your old Android phone or tablet (not all handsets work since they might not be able to handle the software and make sure that it is able to recognize the OK Google command), any cheap speaker you might have, along with the most recent version of the Google App.

Turn Your Old Android Device into a Smart Speaker:

  1. If your device doesn’t have the OK Google command already set up, you must first enable it. For that, tap the speaker at the end of the Google Search Bar near the top of the screen and you’ll need to say “OK Google” three times to teach your device to listen for your voice;
  2. If that doesn’t work, tap the three horizontal lines at the end of the bar at the bottom of the screen;
  3. Now, select Settings;
  4. Tap voice;
  5. Then, tap “OK Google” detection and this should give you the option to set your voice recognition;
  6. With that done, go back into Google Settings;
  7. It’s time to tap “Voice”;
  8. Make sure the switch next to “From any screen” is turned on;
  9. Return one screen as you have to select the Hands-free option;
  10. Turn on the two switches for Bluetooth devices and Wired headsets;
  11. Go back and check to see if speech output is turned on;
  12. At this point, your device is ready to listen to you. Attach your speaker either with an auxiliary jack or by Bluetooth.

For your homemade Google Home to work, all you need is to keep the device screen and the speaker must always be on.

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