One of Android’s coolest features—its voice-activated “Okay Google” feature, powered by Google Now—is about to get a little cooler. The company announced today that a new batch of custom voice commands were just launched, with even more on the way.
So far, Google has two examples. Say “Okay Google, listen to NPR” will launch an audio stream on the NPR app, while “Okay Google, show attractions near me on TripAdvisor” does, well, that. It’s a nice couple of additions, and it’s even better that Google has plans for even more commands on the way.
As it is, Google Now’s voice command features are already pretty powerful. I can launch navigation to some destinations just by talking to my phone. I can also launch some apps—so long as the phone understands the app I’m talking about. I can open up the WTF podcast app, but I can’t actually launch an episode without doing so manually.
There are also some third party solutions while Google adds in more commands. An app called Commandr provides a bunch of good voice commands for different smartphone functions, some of which are customizable. It’s not completely perfect, but it does add some welcome features to an already great app on Android.
As far as the future of Google Now goes, they’re looking to developers for more ideas:
“We’re currently piloting custom voice actions with a select group of partners, but we plan to open it up more widely in the future—and we’d love to hear your ideas for actions you’d like to implement.”
Let’s hope there are awesome new voice commands for every app before too long…I’m tired of using my fingers like a sucker. Touchless smartphones are the future!