I bought my grandad a cheap Android phone - a Huawei Ascend Y330 - for Christmas. He likes Google Now a lot, but for some reason the command Call <somebody in his phone book> isn't working.

It's saying (in a robotic voice, not the usual one) Say the name of the contact you want to call, or say cancel. It isn't coming up with any contact suggestions either, and it isn't working for any contacts, from simple home to slightly more complicated names.

Initially it came up with a permission request to access his contacts, which I approved.

Saying Call ACME Inc does work though, when it needs to search online for the number.

It's running Android 4.2 Jellybean and there are no updates available.

Any ideas?

  • I suppose I could flash it? Any lightweight ROMs you can suggest or any considerations for this model phone with rooting it? Feb 5, 2015 at 21:33
  • Check your Google Now settings, go into "Phone Search" and check whether "Contacts" is ticked. There's a possibility that this isn't ticked for unknown reason.
    – Andrew T.
    Feb 6, 2015 at 2:51
  • did it use to work perfectly when you bought?
    – Apurva
    Feb 7, 2015 at 8:32
  • @Apurva It's only just been bought, it's new. Feb 7, 2015 at 16:53
  • @AndrewT. Thanks for the idea, please see my comment on Cross Cudi's answer. Feb 8, 2015 at 22:58

2 Answers 2


First, check the settings under Google Now. Open "Phone Search" and check if "Contacts" is ticked. If it is not, then tick it and it should work. If it is, head to Settings and Application Manager. Get to Google App and uninstall updates. Get back to the Play Store and reinstall all updates. It should work. If all else fails and he hasn't much data on the phone, back up and format it. Good luck and thank you for the bounty.

  • Thanks for the idea; going into Google Now's Settings prompted me to sign an account. Created a Google account, and then a couple of Google Now-related updates downloaded. It's still not working though. Same symptoms as before. I don't think restoring to factory would help. Think I'd need another ROM. It currently runs Emotion UI. Feb 8, 2015 at 22:58

After looking at ROMs and trying to choose one, and Googling for this problem, I found many forum threads of people with similar problems.

The solution I ended up using was to install an alternative speech recognition app - utter!

It's working great and even has more features than Google Now does :)

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