Explicit Invocation

Explicit invocation occurs when a user tells the Google Assistant to use your app by name. Optionally, the user can include an action invocation phrase at the end of their invocation that will take them directly to the function they're requesting.

Explicit invocation components

The following example shows the different possible components of an explicit invocation command:

Trigger phrase

These phrases start an explicit invocation and are defined by Actions on Google:

  • "Ok Google, talk to..."
  • "Ok Google, speak to..."
  • "Ok Google, I want to speak to..."
  • "Ok Google, ask..."

App name (app invocation)

This is the name of your app, such as "Personal Chef." Users combine this with trigger phrases to explicitly invoke apps by name, such as: "Ok Google, let me talk to Personal Chef." This type of basic explicit invocation is called app invocation.

Action invocation phrase (optional)

Action invocation phrases are a valuable mechanism to increase the discoverability of your app, and provide a way for users to deep link into your app by providing an action to perform. These phrases illustrate various ways users might request your app's features, so the Google Assistant can better understand your app's capabilities and match your app's actions with user requests.

  • "find me recipes"
  • "recommend a wine"
  • "book a ride"
  • "play a game"
  • "want to meditate"

Users combine your app name with action invocation phrases to explicitly invoke specific actions, such as: "Ok Google, talk to Personal Chef to find me recipes." This type of task-specific explicit invocation is called action invocation.

Explicit invocation intent

If your app is explicitly invoked by name without any action invocation phrase (e.g. "Ok Google, talk to MyRecipeApp") the actions.intent.MAIN intent in your app is triggered. Your app must contain one and only one default action that handles this intent.

If your app is explicitly invoked by name with an action invocation phrase (e.g. "Ok Google, talk to MyRecipeApp for today's soup recipe"), the intent corresponding with that action invocation phrase will be invoked.

For more information, reference our documentation on intents.