Google's voice search function is undeniably cool, and it's only getting better since the company has expanded the capabilities of the Android Search/Google Now app. However, there's one tragic flaw in the execution of voice actions: they can't make popcorn. But if you add some of Android's most powerful root-enabled tools, namely Tasker, the Xposed Framework, and the previously-featured AutoVoice, the sky's the limit. With the right hardware and tinkering, you can start living your Starfleet dreams in jig time. Observe:

This combination of tools comes courtesy of João Dias, the developer of the AutoVoice Tasker plugin. The latest update to this non-Play Store app allows you to launch Tasker actions by speaking directly to Google Search via the microphone button or the "OK Google" command. (Or you can do a text search, if you want to be boring and ordinary.) If you have a Moto X, one of the new DROIDs, or a Nexus 5, you can initiate the command without touching your phone. Auto Voice uses the Google Now API for the Xposed Framework to "listen" to the searches, then interprets them as commands or directions for Tasker. You can associate any Tasker action with any search performed in the Google Search app. The possibilities are nigh limitless.

Here's a dramatic demonstration from YouTube user Armando Ferreira:

Obviously, all of this requires quite a lot of setup. You'll need a rooted phone, the Xposed Framework, the Google Now API for Xposed, Tasker, and the latest version of the Auto Voice Tasker plugin... and that's just the basics. You'll still need to create Tasker actions or profiles that do the specific actions you require, and of course all the nifty home automation stuff shown in the video requires external hardware and setups. Even so, it's an awesome way to interact with your device. I hope Google and Android manufacturers are listening.

Here are all the necessary components. Again, you absolutely need root to get all this to work. 

Source: JoaoApps.com via Google+
Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • mustbepbs

    This is why Android rules.

    • gtg465x

      And iPhone drools.

      • Vodeya

        Iphone drowns

        • Stephen Vanhooser

          In it's drool

          • Guest


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      • Nathaniel Webb

        O'DROID RULES!

  • gh0st

    feel like ducking tony stark . . .

    • dickidickiedohickie

      feel like tony stark....and look like Steve Urkel...go figure

  • http://jordanhotmann.com/ Jordan Hotmann

    Xposed Framework is by far the best thing to happen for rooted users since Android began. I love the fact that I can run official stock Android on my Nexus 4 and still get all the great ROM features. When a new update is released, I just disable xposed, upgrade, and re-enable.

    Now with this I'm going to be voice commanding like a BOSS!

    • duse

      Yeah, it really is great, let's hope it can be made to work with ART before it becomes the default runtime.

    • dickiedickedohickie

      I exposed my framework one time like a BOSS...and I got rooted out of the place...

      just lay down, I'll take it from here.

      • http://jordanhotmann.com/ Jordan Hotmann

        I see what you tried to do there...

  • Semianonymous


    First the awkward, challenging to install version
    Then it gets simpler
    Then a ROM dev integrates it
    Then a manufacturer integrates it into an OEM ROM
    Then it becomes a standard feature

    • gh0st

      the sad truth

      • Mado

        Why sad? That's how technology goes, and it is great for everybody. Think how many simple things we can do now that requires some degree of expertise before.

        • gh0st

          i meant sad in the sense that these real innovations made by hardworking indie developers are used by multi million dollar corporations in their devices and advertised as their innovations

          • Mado

            Aaah, I see.

          • Justin Swanson

            Way to be a downer dude...

            Seriously though, I believe you'll need to pay for all of the apps required, short of the Xposed Framework/Google Now/Search API.

            Tasker and AutoVoice are both paid.

          • Gabernasher

            Shoulda gotten a patent.

    • http://jordanhotmann.com/ Jordan Hotmann

      But the challenge makes it more fun...and makes you more informed in the process.

      Embrace the challenge, my friend.

    • sivkai

      Then it gets copied by Apple and branded as revolutionary.

  • redmafia

    Making Google Search recognize more languages should be a top priority for Google.

    • https://play.google.com/store/search?q=kodiak+211 Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

      Fuk that... :)

  • Stephen

    this made me flip back from ART to Dalvik on my moto x - just to run xposed w/ this module. still havent set it up yet haha

    • duse

      It's very cool but I'm having trouble thinking of actual uses....what sort of Tasker actions would I like to activate with voice? Hm...

      • Bratag

        What couldn't you do.

        Ok Google turn on wifi
        Ok Google run (and yes I know its sort of already in Google Now but its very hit or miss. Tasker and the regexp plugin make it rock solid)
        Ok Google set volume to max.

        etc etc

      • Nathan Talbert

        I personally have moto x set up and using this and have made profiles to:

        (and these are just the beginning, like it says, the possibilities are endless)

        listen to music - opens music player and starts playing music (going to
        work on a feature to make it listen to (genre) music to open different

        2. set the volume to (x) - x being anything from 0-15 or max, off, half

        3. netflix play (x) - x being a movie name, netflix opens, searches for the movie and automatically plays the top search result. it also locks the screen rotation so if you happen to have it turned sideways the scripted screen presses will still function, then unlocks it after everything is finished.

        4. youtube play (x) - same as above except youtube

        once i get my wireless display adapter, going to add to the phrases
        netflix/youtube play (x) on the big screen. - same as 3 and 4 except
        will use the wireless display miracast to play on the tv

        5. open (x) - any app on the phone and it doesnt take ages like if you use just google now.

        bypass the lock screen via voice commands. with the phone locked the
        only way this responds is to the "ok google now" built into the moto x
        so, yes, this is secure

        I'm also designing my own
        assistant for the things that I need most, granted i could use the ones
        on the market, but wheres the satisfaction in doing that?

        • duse

          Yeah, I see all that, I just don't see the benefit of doing most of that by voice. The only time I really find voice actions useful are in the car.

  • Kent Andersen

    I was excited when google announced Google Now. But I was very disappointed to find out it didn't have any API's. This is an extremely powerful tool as the video shows. Google, if you are reading this, PLEASE make api's public for dev to integrate their apps into google now!

  • Owen Finn

    Utter does this already?

    • SmokeNMirrors

      It sure does and much easier to setup!

    • dude

      utter is good for most regular stuff, but Tasker and AutoVoice are much more powerful.

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    OMG this is awesome!! I've been trying to do it the other way around and it isn't a great solution (but it works) this makes things way more practical and I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with this.

    • matt

      The other way around? You've been trying to turn your phone on by making popcorn?

      • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

        ....no by "other way around" I'm talking about using auto-voice and sending that to google now...

      • arana

        he means turning off his phone by talking to the popcorn machine

  • rslh

    I found some tutorial/examples on tasker.wikidot.com, but nothing like what you were doing. Can you provide an example/set-up instructions on, say, "turn off office light"? Thanks!

  • Kenton Douglas

    I think we'll see an example of this from Motorola with Chromecast integration

  • Kevin Welch

    I figured the flaw would be the increased battery utilization not the inability o make popcorn

  • Sergiu Dogaru

    Shameless plug: If your popcorn-making machine is InfraRed controlled (as opposed to WiFi like the lights or lock in the video), you can use Tasker in combination with Smart IR Remote (we have a Tasker plugin too) to make popcorn. It won't bring it to your couch though ...

    • AluKed

      "It won't bring it to your couch though".

      Yet. Lets just wait for the Googlebots to roll in.

  • vgergo

    Note 3 is always listening too, but unfortunately you have to say "Hi Galaxy" to activate it. It's so embarrassing... And of course then S Voice comes in, which is a pile of garbage Siri wannabe, but you can use tasker to kick its butt and go to Google Voice Search...

    I've been looking around in the ROM where the trigger word might be stored to hopefully be able to change it, but no luck yet. Until it can be changed it can only be used privately, every time cursing the monkeys who thought of this pathetic activation phrase...

  • rap

    Making me wish I'd gone for the Moto X instead of the n5 now! Very cool integration and the future of things to come.

  • Jason

    is anyone aware if this allows for in-app control, such as changing to the next song within a media player (OK Google Now, Next Song)?