Does Google Assistant work without Wi-Fi?
- By: Ashley Saunders
- December 2021
Google Assistant is fantastic for helping us achieve more. It can help you remember events, create shopping lists and even operate your smart home system or connected devices. Do you wonder: Does Google Assistant work without Wi-Fi?
While there are a few things you can do offline with Google Assistant, it’s quite limited. The system uses cloud computing, making an internet connection essential. So, you only need a lightweight app as Google’s servers do the heavy lifting.
All hope isn’t lost if you suddenly lose your internet connection. Simply, switch on your phone’s 4G Wi-Fi and either; continue using the Google Assistant or turn your phone into a hotspot that can supply an internet connection to your connected devices.
Let’s dive into: Does Google Assistant work without Wi-Fi?
Will using Google Assistant use up my mobile data?
Thankfully, Google Assistant alone doesn’t use much data. So, if you’re using your phone’s Wi-Fi or it as a hotspot, you shouldn’t see your data usage rocket. Of course, if you’re listening to music or watching long videos, you might quick exceed your data limits.
Why can’t Google understand me while I’m offline?
For some unknown reason, when you’re offline, the Google Assistant’s speech recognition can be inaccurate. Even if you’re lucky enough to have an accent it finds easy to understand, it won’t be 100% accurate. Frustratingly, there doesn’t seem to be any way to fix it currently.
Will saying “Hey Google” work offline?
Even if you don’t have an internet connection, saying “Hey, Google” while offline will still launch the Google Assistant. However, you’ll find the service severely limited and may be prone to issues.
Using voice recognition offline tends to be less accurate as the latest cloud-based software are not processing your requests. If you have no internet, you can only access data held on your device. So, you’ll need to download any relevant data in advance.
For example, you can only listen to music you’ve already downloaded to your device. The same is true for maps. Without downloading them before, you won’t be able to get there.
If you want to access information like the latest news or weather, you’ll have to wait until you have an internet connection.
General offline commands you can use with Google Assistant
When offline, any Google Nest smart speakers you have will become Bluetooth speakers, and most of the functions will stop working. However, there are a few commands to use on your smartphone when Google Assistant is offline:
- Play Music (Only songs that are downloaded to your phone)
- Open an app by name
- “Hey Google. Open my Gallery.”
- Add events to your calendar
- “Hey Google. Add an event to my Calender.” Just as when you’re online, you’ll be prompted for date, time, and name.
- Send texts and place calls to contacts
- “Hey Google, call Dad.”
- This will work if you’ve lost Wi-Fi and/or data connection but still have phone service.
- Toggle settings on and off
- “Hey Google. Turn off Airplane Mode.”
- “Hey Google. Turn on Wi-Fi.”
- Adjust your phone’s volume
- “Hey Google. Turn up my media volume”
- Adjust your screen’s brightness.
- “Hey Google. Turn down the brightness on my screen.”
- Set alarms
- “Hey Google. Set an alarm for 11 am.”
Playing music using the Google Assistant while offline
It’s easy to get the Google Assistant to play music while offline. You first need to set up your preferred music app in Google Assistant. Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Open the Google app and then tap More > Settings > Google Assistant.
- Tap the Services tab, then select Music.
- Choose your preferred music app by clicking the circular button to its right.
- Close the Google app. Ensure you’ve downloaded songs in your music app or transferred some MP3 files to your Android device.
- Say, “Hey Google, play music.” If you’re offline, it plays the songs stored on your device.
Can you use Google Assistant offline for navigation?
As you can download Google maps of where you’re visiting in advance, you should be fine without an internet connection. Here are the steps you need to follow:
- In the Google Maps app on your Android device, tap your Profile icon and then select Offline maps.
- Tap SELECT YOUR OWN MAP.
- Zoom and pan until the area you want is within the blue box and then tap DOWNLOAD.
- You are taken back to the Offline maps screen, where you can see your offline maps and some status information. Your map downloads and automatically updates when required.
When you say: “Hey Google, Navigate to Home” for example, Google Maps should begin navigation as long as you’ve already downloaded the maps required to get you from where you are to your saved home location.
Sadly, Google can’t help you with other directions. Typing an address into Google Maps will work. Ask Google Assistant to retrieve a contact’s address and it will. However, unless you have an internet connection, Google Assistant can’t place the address into maps and start navigation.
Does Google Assistant work without Wi-Fi?
The answer to: Does Google Assistant work without Wi-Fi? is kind of. You can use Google Assistant offline on your phone. However, it only offers very limited functions as it uses cloud computing.
That said, you can download information to your phone before you leave home and ask Google Assistant to recall it without needing an internet connection.
Without an internet connection, any Google Home or Nest smart speakers you have will only work as Bluetooth speakers as they need internet to power the majority of the functions.
If your internet connection does go down, either use your phone’s Wi-Fi or turn it into a hotspot. Don’t worry, Google Assistant won’t drain your mobile data.