Android to Get Voice Actions System-Wide, New UI Features

Google plans on bringing its voice assistant to more apps

By on April 26th, 2014 08:08 GMT

Mountain View-based Internet giant Google is reportedly getting ready for a major enhancement for the Android operating system, through adding voice actions to more areas of the platform.

Basically, Google is planning on offering its voice assistant in areas outside Search, where it has been available for some time now.

With the availability of voice actions in additional Google apps on Android devices, the search giant will provide users with the possibility to do more with voice alone. Moreover, they will be able to perform more actions using Search in general, it seems.

According to Android Police, there is also the possibility that these voice actions will be brought to third-party applications too, though it remains to be seen whether Google is indeed willing to open its APIs to developers.

All in all, rumor has it that the “Ok, Google” hotword will be available in almost all areas of Android, and that the voice-based actions accompanying it will have a similar fate.

Provided that this feature is indeed included in the platform, users will be able, among others, to like photos using voice only, to launch the photo editor, and do other actions as well.

Moreover, it seems that Google might replace the traditional home button with a new Google button, though this could happen only on devices capable of delivering a pure Android experience, such as Nexus and Google Play Edition handsets.

The “Ok, Google” prompt might also be designed to suggest specific actions depending on the application they are used in, instead of only listening to user commands.

The inclusion of the aforementioned Google button on future Android devices, as a replacement for the current home button, could also change the manner in which users actually access the homescreen.

According to Android Police, this would be done by heading to recent apps, which will still have a button on each device, and through swiping to the right from that screen.

Google to make voice actions available system-wide in Android
Google to make voice actions available system-wide in Android
Android is also expected to get a red “g” in a circle as part of the new experience, with more prominent circular transition animations available in Google’s own apps for the OS, in line with the changes that the OS and core applications in it have been recently rumored to get through.

Apparently, Google is planning on including the new voice actions in Android in a modular manner, meaning that there will be separate modules for adding a recipient to a message, for the content of the body, and for subject.

To get started with the new “Ok Google everywhere,” users will be first recommended to give it a try, followed by explanation on how it will all work. Then, the service will listen to the user’s voice, to make sure that it responds to the user alone.

Android Police also notes that this rumor is very likely to pan out in the end, but that things might not turn out to be as presented above in the end. For the time being, however, we’ll take this with a grain of salt, but we’ll keep an eye out for an official confirmation, so stay tuned.

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