25
Apr
thumb

We've recently seen plenty of rumors related to Google's future plans for its Search app, from automatically remembering where you parked to reminding you of things when you're with another person, to reminding you to pay bills, down to something as simple as setting a proper timer. Clearly, Google's got plenty of plans for what will happen inside Search. But today, we've got something a little different - this time, it relates to how Google's voice assistant will break out of Search, entering other Google apps to help you do more with your voice and perform more actions with Search in general. The hope is that eventually, these modular actions will apply to third-party apps as well, but that will depend on Google's willingness to open up the relevant APIs.

OkGoogleHead

Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether. As with all rumors, nothing is 100% until it's officially announced.

We do not have possession of any APKs or unreleased devices, so please don't ask for them.

Confidence Level

As with any rumor, it's important to discuss first whether we're confident in the information at hand. This particular rumor gets a confidence level of 8. With a project of this scope, a lot could substantially change before release. Because of this, and because we do not have much teardown-based evidence of this on the way, we have to deduct points. From information available to us, this project is being actively worked on, but the actual UX may still be under exploration.

That said, we are confident that some form of this functionality will be implemented, even if it isn't exactly what we lay out here.

The Rumor

This rumor is a little more complicated than some of the others. Essentially, it appears that Google wants to put the "Ok Google" hotword and/or voice-based actions just about everywhere, with a focus on adding specialized actions for individual apps. This would mean that users could, for example, say "Ok Google" inside the photos app to open a voice box, which would then allow them to perform actions specific to the photo app like sharing, or perhaps starting up the editor.

Google is apparently exploring this idea with new navigation buttons, including a "Google" button that would replace the traditional home button. We'll discuss this further later in the post. Changing the way users access the home screen by implementing a new navigation bar will obviously be a major shift, but we'll explore how that may work in a future post.

Something very important to note right now, though, is that this interface will likely be part of the Google experience, and as such may not appear on non-Nexus/GPE devices. It's clear that Google is trying to build its own experience (with the Google Now launcher being one part) to differentiate its own vanilla Android experience from partners/competitors.

We also have reason to believe that, in some apps, Google is experimenting with functionality that would enable the "Ok Google" prompt to provide suggested actions instead of simply listening. For example, if you were having a conversation with someone in Gmail, the prompt may suggest replying to that person, or performing actions related to the message chain like finding a movie, looking up the hours of a restaurant mentioned in the conversation, etc. This functionality is probably further out, as it would likely require more build-out on Google's predictive/assistive technology, but simpler suggestions like composing an email or creating an appointment are already in exploration (we'll discuss that in a moment).

The Evidence

As with many rumors, we won't be able to provide source images here, but be assured that we reproduce interfaces and experiences as faithfully as we can to demonstrate what we're talking about. First, check out the animation below to see what the "Ok Google" hot word experience might look like in the Photos app when a user begins a "share" command and then cancels it.

In implementing this functionality, Google seems to be experimenting with new navigation buttons. This is where things get a little strange.

image

Let's take a look at how these work. The back button appears to work (or not work, depending on your point of view) how it always has, the button on the right is "Recents," which appears to lead to the multitasking view we got a glimpse of in our post about Hera - the unification of Chrome and Search on Android - and the "Google" button, represented variously as a lowercase g or as the Google logo, which would also trigger a search prompt wherever you are. The obvious question is "how do you get to the home screen?" It appears - from what information we have - that users could get to the home screen through recents, where the home screen is accessed by swiping to the right from the recents list. As mentioned before, we plan on discussing the home screen further in a future post, so please refrain from freaking out and reserve judgment until such time (or, preferably, until all of this is actually released in its final form).

You'll also notice that a major element of the experience is the red "g" in a circle, a style of iconography we've already seen in Android Wear.

image

The circular transition animations are likewise becoming more prominent in Google's Android apps. The separation of the main app interface also looks similar to the treatment app interfaces get in the rumored Recents menu we showed in our post about Project Hera (the unification of Search and Chrome on Android).

image wm_4-23-2014 6-38-08 PM

As mentioned earlier, there's reason to believe that Google will suggest actions for users to take, depending on the app and - at some point in the future - the context of the content you're looking at. Below we've mocked up an example of what this may look like (the Gmail screenshot was taken from the Play Store listing, for those wondering).

wm_Gmailexample

From an implementation perspective, our information indicates that Google plans to create and deploy new actions using a modular structure. To get an idea of what this means, think about telling Google to send an email. Google needs to know who you're sending it to, what the body should contain, and what the subject is. Each of those parameters would be a module that could be unplugged and put into other actions. These pieces of code would evidently be able to snap together (metaphorically) to create new actions on Google's side. Whether anyone besides Google would be able to create such actions is unclear. We've already seen evidence of this in Google Glass. The XE16 update carried a 4000-line ModularActionProtos class that may be a start on this approach.

From the information available to us, it seems that there will be a simple onboarding process to get hot word detection working outside Search - for now, the functionality is being referred to as "Ok Google everywhere." The onboarding process will start with a simple suggestion to try the service, followed by a process of explaining where the prompts work, and listening to the user's voice to be sure Google responds only to that user. Note that the interface represented here is likely under construction, and may not appear this way when and if this feature becomes public.

wm_lure wm_okgoogonboard1 wm_okgoogonboard2

Final Thoughts

As always, it's worth noting that this functionality appears to be a work in progress. Since we're talking about pre-release features, things could always change. We feel confident in the advent of modular actions, but the layout changes related to it are more of a moving target, considering there are still months of potential development ahead. What is clear, however, is that Google wants to make voice actions a significantly more common part of Android's interface, and is experimenting with one (really awesome) way to do that.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

    Tl;dr holo fanboys.

    • Matt

      #HOLOYYOLOY

      Edit: Aww you ruined my joke with your spelling correction, David.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

        Sorry. :(

      • Ezhik

        holo alloy

    • http://ignaciozippy.com/ Ignacio Zippy

      Yes, because we must throw away four years of hard work trying to convince all Android developers in the world to stick to a certain UX, and give them something new for them to ignore four more years.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

        *RUSTLING INTENSIFIES*

        • LE REDDIT AMIRITE!?

          HAHA I KNOW MMEMES!!! IM SO COOL MAN! LE LE LE LE LE

    • Sietai

      The basics are more or less them same imo.

      I don't think holo apps will look completely out of place, but I do hope this shows more developers that you don't have to stick to the same boring default color schemes.

      In most cases, moving to the new UI might be as simple as replacing some drawables. which would be very easy for most devs (like me) who stuck to the default iconography and didn't have to create their own..

    • Christopher Bement

      This is still holo, nolo?

    • s

      David being a useless cunt rather than legitimately discussing the issue? Priceless.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Dafuq's that? Those buttons are AWFUL

    But "Ok Google" command available worldwide would be badass

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      They are a bit odd, but remember any part of the design could change before this eventually reaches release.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        Obviously, yeah. But if Google did pull this off - this could potentially finally kill the annoying "Swipe Up for Google Now" gesture from the Home button in current Android builds

        • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

          Yeah. Especially with the Google Now Launcher, that action seems really superfluous. I'd welcome its demise in favor of this.

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            Exactly, there's no real need in that gesture when you can easily access Now from home screen anyway

          • Vito Lee

            Unless you use an alternate home screen...

        • Cesar

          How is that annoying? I use that gesture constantly. It's way more convenient than the left most home screen in GNL.

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            Because apps/games that don't use/support immersive mode and have some interaction with the closer-to-bottom part of the screen always constantly causes me to accidentially access that damn gesture, and there is no toggle for that even when Google Now is turned off. So yes, it IS annoying. Games like fruit ninja (e..g which involve a lot of swiping) are just an example of that.

            For now only Gravity Box saves me from that.

          • Cesar

            I've literally never had that happen to me in any app or game. Try swiping less furiously. A little control goes a long way.

          • sdcoiner76

            I've actually have that happen to me all the time. If an app does not use immersive mode it can be troubling with some apps. Also somehow and I can not put my finger on it but I have use Google Now much more with it being on the left hand screen then I ever did with the swipe up. But, that is just me and I can't really explain why.

    • Arthur Dent

      Yeah, I'd like the middle Google button to just be a 'g'

      The functionality sounds awesome though. Can't wait to see how it works out.

      • darkdude1

        Even then, I am finding it hard to understand how it would make sense in this context. The current button is fine to be honest

        • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

          Well we will either have to get used to a new setup or Google will make it work so nicely that we won't even complain as if the original Home onscreen button never existed. We'll see

        • abqnm

          See my post above. I don't believe the functionality will change much, if any. It seems more a branding thing for the Google Now Launcher for Nexus and GPE devices.

      • abqnm

        I wouldn't be surprised to find that it still takes you "home" and the google button will simply take you to the Google Now Launcher (or possibly, and not ideally, directly to Google Now where you could then swipe over). I would expect that the launcher would evolve more, however, before they brand the home button the "google button."

        I truly can't see them making this any more complicated than that.

    • JonJJon

      I like Google and their services but I don't really want their logo persistent as a button all the time. I amprobably a minority in this sort of community in how much I use voice actions in search/Google Now's interface, being almost never.

    • sdcoiner76

      Not a big fan of the google button. The others don't bother me. I am concerned about the potential changed on how you get to the Home screen though but I will have to wait and see what happens.

  • Phil Oakley

    Buttons aside this looks fantastic.

    Cannot wait for I/O. So much to look forward to!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      This may not happen as soon as I/O. Maybe end of the year's release though. I'm thinking I/O will have another KitKat, then L release at the end of the year with the new Nexus phone refresh? Pure speculation here.

      • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

        I'm inclined to think this way as well. I would predict (based on nothing) that we'll get 4.5 KitKat or something similar at I/O.

      • Phil Oakley

        Even so: lots to look forward to. As a UI designer focusing on Android, the huge focus on design this year has got me very excited.

        Pity I'm not going :(

        • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

          Welcome to the club! ... :(

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        Aw man, wait another several months for a new Android release? Do not want!

      • ddpacino

        Certainly seems like a 5.0 update, and not the rumored 4.5 for Android. This is BIG.

      • nebula

        But Duarte said, that the Google I/O will be very interesting for designers and these are huge design changes here.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          The design guidelines may be overhauled, but the interaction they outlined above, combined with Hera, is a usage paradigm shift that is worthy of a X.0 release. The rest of the design characteristics, such as the circles, the colors, the animations, etc. can be pushed before the full functionality is unveiled.

      • Shamu

        Do you think it is at all possible they will give a sneak peak...maybe so developers can begin preparing for app changes.

  • MrJigolo

    That is freaking Gorgeous. The new software keys are way overdue. Google needs to eliminate any evidence that Honeycomb ever existed.

    • Phil Oakley

      I hope they aren't final, especially the recent button. But judging by what Artem said below in reply to my comment, it's still a way off, so maybe they'll change them.

      They're not awful, but I think Google could do a lot better. The current ones are the same; not awful, but could do better.

      • ddpacino

        Yes, I certainly like the current Recents button that that... but would better if they allowed native customization for those, even if limited.

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Instead of overhauling the navbar (nothing bad about it, though, I mean the Settings app pretty much has the same layout as in previous versions, and nobody is complaining about it) they should've made the immersive mode a default in Android, instead of having to experience inconvinience in some apps and hope that developers actually include a proper support for that..

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        It's difficult in Android to make anything mandatory. The pressure for a developer to use things like proper immersive mode, clear nav bars, etc. should really come from the users, not from Google. If the developer is lazy, there are plenty of alternatives for each and every app on the store. Give the developer your feedback, see what their answer is, and act accordingly.

        • ddpacino

          Can't stress that enough.... Contact the Developer. Most are pretty responsive (at least for me).

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.danna.733 Jonathan Danna

    I can't help but wonder what all of this googlization of stock android means for AOSP.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      The same thing it has meant for a long time. People foisted the wrong ideology on Android and Google's relationship to it. Android is just an operating system, and AOSP is the most raw and uncut version of it. Google is adding its own skins, features, and supporting services. Stock Android isn't being harmed in any way, it's just that Google is including more customizations in the products that include the "Google Experience."

      • Jason Rittenhouse

        in addition, so many of the OS's features are going to apk's on the play store so more devices can benefit from google's new features.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        The thing is that the more Google brings its own experience to life, the more close-sourced Android becomes. AOSP has been pretty much forgotten except for the obvious code update accordignly with the newer Android versions, but all the old apps weren't updated forever, like the original ICS browser after Chrome came as default with 4.1

        Plus, Google's apps are close-sourced. AND OEMs only open the sources of the kernel files, everything else is pretty much also proprietary.

        Little by little, this OS is becoming closer to becoming iOS-like in terms of openness, and that is bad

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

          Android, the operating system is not becoming closed source, at all. Nothing about the actual operating system has ever been closed up.

          You're thinking of the apps that were also open sourced alongside AOSP. Yes, most of those have been abandoned, but Google never committed to keeping those up to date. They were always opened up to give developers a starting point for building counterparts. Android is not becoming like iOS, Google is just not devoting as many man hours to writing updates for the outdated stock apps.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

            And let us not forget that the parts of Android that are open source are the ones that are actually important from an OS perspective. All the bits that help Android actually work with hardware are freely available. Google isn't cutting Android off at the knees.

            Android's detractors constantly point to Google's "closed open source" OS, but it's hilarious to me that they can have any kind of allegation of the sort when Windows Phone, BB OS, and iOS are all much more closed off than Android is, and they always will be.

            Unless you're a hardcore Linux-only freak, calling Google's approach to Android "closed" is an allegation that is hard to take seriously

          • Brandon Smith

            I entirely disagree, David. As a developer, I have gone through the code for Google's camera app to learn best known practices or looked into how they built the UI for the Gallery. Unnecessarily closing the source of an app is awful for the community and it flabbergasts me how you can defend it. Yes, the OS is 100% open source, but people are much more likely to look into app implementations than the standard Linux OS fare. I'm not saying Android's "closed" now but they've since effectively closed Camera, Calendar, Search, Music, Browser, their Keyboard, their Launcher, Gallery, Messaging, and more. Sure, the old implementations are around but if I want to learn how to make an app that is as smooth and pretty as Play Music then I get told to look at the Developer docs which are frequently outdated, light on content, and don't even begin to cover any UI design post 4.2.

          • Mskina

            They closed Gogle Camera, Google Calendar, Google Browser (Chrome), Google Search, Google Music, Google Keyboard, Google Launcher, Google Gallery (Photos), Google Hangouts (Messaging) and more. Do you feel what i'm saying?

          • bukton

            OS Android is open source, but there is nothing to stop Google from making its 'branded' apps. After all, Google is a brand.

          • Mskina

            I know, i was trying to make that point too. Now I see i failed :(

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

            Yes, we feel what you're saying, but what we're saying is "who cares?" They're just apps. They have nothing to do with the OS, and therefore, there's no logical reason on Google's part to keep these apps open-sourced, especially when the features necessitate using closed, private APIs (like Play Music and Chrome).

          • Chapa

            It's more like Android is to Google Experience what FreeBSD is to Mac OS X. The core of it is OSS. What changes is the icing on the cake, but you still have the recipe for the plain fudge.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

            That's an excellent way to put it.

          • Mskina

            Of course,Shawn. I was trying to confront Brandon because he was saying Google "closed" a lot of apps, but Google just closed his apps, not the AOSP apps.

            I'm sorry, english is not my 1st language and is difficult to me to make my point

          • Waleed Al Suwaimel

            So, you're saying it's okay that Facebook do not open-source their messenger app, but Google should open-source the Hangouts app only because of Google's relation to Android??!

          • Mskina

            On the contrary. In my opinion, Google does ok closing his own apps :|

          • rstat1

            Chrome's source has been available for years. The Android version is mostly included as well.

          • Glorin

            Google Sh*t? anyone?

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

            What you're really complaining about is that there aren't good samples of high quality, modern apps. That's a fair criticism, and one that the Developer Relations team needs to work on. Believe me, I fervently agree that many of the developer docs and samples are outdated, inaccurate, poorly built, and sometimes outright wrong. Seriously, some of the other AP writers are sick of me bitching about it. I could go on and on about where these things could and should be better (I admit, I was spoiled by MSDN).

            However, this is not necessarily a niche that needs to be filled by those specific apps, or even AOSP. Good (working) samples should be included with the SDK and published in highly visible places, but there is no obligation to include everything Google puts into their own custom apps. It's not like the intent is to cut developers out of the loop, it's that there are things Google doesn't feel obligated to release or that rely heavily on private server-bound APIs (like Play Music).

          • Brandon Smith

            That's a fair point but it just doesn't make much sense to me, Cody. Yes, in an ideal world every sample would be kept modern and updated. I would love a world where the documentation taught developers how to actually take advantage of all that Android has to offer. The sad reality is that that's not going to happen and the next best thing was the source to the apps that Google's engineers, themselves, called their day job. Their intent obviously isn't to cut devs out of the conversation, but then what exactly is their intent?

            None of you have given me a good reason as to why Camera, Photos, the Launcher, the Calendar, etc. _should_ be closed. Everyone's responded with "it's Google's stuff so let them do what they want." Closing their source code for some inexplicable reason just hurts developers, plain and simple. (Oh and to respond to the private server-bound APIs, they should just move those to a closed source framework like Google Play Services, if they aren't there already).

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

            You... I... wat?!?!

            Ok, first off, I reject any argument that presupposes the real problem cannot be fixed. Google should invest the resources towards bringing the docs, guides, and samples up to a high standard. That's it. Good samples are infinitely more useful to developers than the convoluted mess that those proprietary apps have turned into. (trust me, I comb through them week after week.)

            And regarding reasons, you're looking at it from the wrong perspective. Realize that you're taking a role similar to that of a prosecutor in a court of law. The responsibility is on you to explain why Google is obligated to open that source code, not for the rest of us to tell you why Google doesn't have to.

            Yes, we'd all be happier if those apps were wide open. Nobody is contradicting that. However, the fact remains that Google is free to stop updating the stock apps at any time. The Google versions may have once been based on the original stock apps, but they are, in fact, no longer the same apps. They are effectively proprietary apps, just like the custom versions done by HTC, Samsung, or any 3rd-party developer. The lack of a completely modern, open source alternative is not strictly Google's responsibility.

          • Ricardo

            Hi Cody, about posting high quality samples, I've always heard that google releases the source code of the google I/O apk every year, which is supposed to be an example of how to write an android app. Is it useful or is it too simple to showcase best programming practices and how to use android's APIs effciently?

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

            It actually is a pretty great example. However, depending on what somebody is trying to get out of it, the app might be too large to use as a simple reference. The best examples usually demonstrate how to accomplish one or two very specific things. For example, a good demonstration of the pull-out navigation drawer does not need to include push messaging, notifications, or G+ integration. That stuff would all be superfluous and confuse somebody that just needs to duplicate that drawer.

            The other problem with the I/O app is that it still only represents a very small fraction of the functionality people are trying to build for every day. For example, it doesn't use the camera, hardly touches any sensor data (except the GPS), and doesn't connect to anything over Bluetooth. It's not that it should do these things, but there have to be other samples that do.

            While the I/O app isn't the perfect example for everything, it does a pretty awesome job of being an example of what a good completed app should be like.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

            Yes, I'd say the only people who would actively try to make a serious argument about this are probably people who inhabit an office on the 5th floor of 51 Franklin Street in Boston. ;)

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            A point could also be made that it is not in our best interest that those apps be maintained. Doing so would cost man-hours that would be better spent on other parts of the project. The stock AOSP apps still provide the most basic of functionality, which is all they were ever intended to do.

        • Jondan Rothfus

          The only parts of Android that Google is removing (and/or replacing with their own apps via Play Store) are the same types of services that you can find all over the Play Store. Most any Android device you get these days either has manufacturer-produced services that would've replaced the AOSP, or Google-produced services, which also would have replaced AOSP. You can find similar apps to most of these services through various other apps in the Play Store. Whether the browswer, like you mentioned, or Gallery apps, or Camera apps, or email apps, or most of the many other services that are provided via Android, they typically have a replacement from Google, OEMs, as well as third party apps in the Play Store. Having one more set of apps providing the same services via AOSP becomes majorly redundant.

        • Waleed Al Suwaimel

          A whole company (Cyanogenmod) bases it's work on AOSP. Yes, the guys at CM are talented and they add their own awesome apps and features, but without AOSP, they can't go on with their business. This business brought the OPPO N1 and now the OnePlus One. AOSP served it's purpose there and it does it very well.

        • blindexecutioner

          Yet updates are so much harder and worse. The more Android becomes like iOS the more tempting iOS becomes.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

        Just to add to what Cody said...in addition to the Google Experience becoming just another skin of Android, Google is doing it correctly at least. It's all 100% APKs.

        That said, as more and more time goes on, the term "stock Android" is becoming a misnomer. As AOSP continues varying more and more from Google's Android experience, there's going to become a point where the two are not synonymous anymore, if we aren't there already.

        • n_a_v

          Is it possible to purchase a "stock android" phone anymore?

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

            If you're referring to plain, raw AOSP, then sure. Buy any device currently supported by AOSP (Nexus 4, Nexus 5, any Nexus 7, or Nexus 10), unlock the bootloader, compile AOSP for the device, flash the resulting images to the device, and there you go. You'll get a perfectly vanilla version of the Android OS without so much as the Play Store. Raw and perfect.

          • blindexecutioner

            That's hardly purchasing a stock android phone.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

            Then define "Stock Android?" There are only two ways to define it. One is raw, pure AOSP and the other would be the "Google Experience" version of Android. If you want the Google Experience, buy any Nexus or Google Play Edition device. If you want pure, raw, AOSP, buy any device supported by AOSP, compile it and flash it.

    • Jovie Brett Bardoles

      It looks like the name of 'Android' is vanishing... Google is somewhat covering the whole ecosystem of Android beyond the limits where Android should supposed to handle those parts :/ Like for example the official Android logo, observe the most Android phones today, do we actually see Android logo being included on the phone's operating system? No, we actually not. People today mistakenly call it as 'Powered by Google' rather by Android :|

    • Tony Murray

      Simply put, Google is adding more and more features that rely on Google services. As per common sense and a long track record, things that rely on Google services don't go into AOSP. The core of AOSP will remain as solid as ever, some of the "stock aosp _apps_" will languish like we've already seen.

  • Nathan Borup

    Source? Just wondering

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      It fell off a truck.

      • Captain Canada

        Vic Gundotra was the driver.

    • Arthur Dent

      Right, they're gonna spill their confidential source ... sure, guy

      • Nathan Borup

        Normally this information comes from the verge or something... android police isn't normally the first site to receive such rumors. I wasn't asking for a confidential source or anything... I'd just like to see the original article

        • Arthur Dent

          I've seen a number of rumors coming directly from AP. This isn't the first time. Artem was saying to expect some bombshells on G+, implying, they were coming direct from AP.

          • Nathan Borup

            Well that answers my question then. I was just wondering if they got it from anywhere else, thats all

    • vyktorsouza

      asking for source on AndroidPolice? You new here? They ARE the source

      • Nathan Borup

        They aren't all the time, thats why I was asking

  • remister

    "Ok Google Everywhere", nuff said

  • heat361

    Web OS is that you? I actually like this card look it really growing on me of course I got see how well it actually works before making final judgments.

  • Raj

    The onboarding mockups look exactly like the Moto X keyword training screens, except for the blue color. You even use Moto's "Yes, I'm in" dialog.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Actually "Yes, I'm in" is a phrase Google uses a lot in on-boarding. If I'm not mistaken it's even in the process for setting up Google Now.

  • Nathan V Hohsfield

    This always listening thing. Does it apply to when the phone is asleep?

  • siddude11

    I see. Skynet is near guys... I tell you. Skynet is just ahead.

  • Daniel

    Why not allow for better customization of the nav bar at the bottom if they're on-screen anyway? Like allow for us to arrange buttons accordingly and set which buttons we want there...such as HOME or MENU always...or even change the color and transparency. But always-listening would be wonderful if that worked well across devices that don't have dedicated microphone chips like the Moto X

    • Phil Oakley

      That's something for custom ROMs to do. Not Google's version of Android (not really 'stock' any more).

  • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

    "This rumor is a little more complicated than some of the others."

    You guys have a weird sense of what's complicated. This is very easy to understand. Cut that sentence and paste it on the Hera thing post :)

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Hah fair enough. I just figured it's a little more complex than a straight-forward Google Now card.

    • Logan

      I don't know. It's complicated in the way that it's nearly completely different than what Android is at the moment. If this happened it would be that biggest change that Android has ever seen.

      • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

        I know, I know, I just said that because with the Hera post tons of people got like "uuuh, ok, how exactly does that change anything? Besides the visual differences and the fact that chrome tabs get to be on the recent apps, what's the big deal?" That article tried again and again to explain what was going on under the hood and how that was revolutionary... And yet people got puzzled.

        In this one, the idea is easy to understand. The OK Google command will be used everywhere to activate context-related actions. And the button to do so will replace the home button. Revolutionary, yes, but simple :)

    • Casin

      It's complicated in the sense that these actions seem really convoluted. Instead of tapping the share button, you tap the google button then have to say a voice command to be able to share? That doesn't seem smart.

      • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

        To be fair, no one said this system would supplant the current share system (or any other system), just that it would enable you to use voice commands if you wanted, and that it may in the future suggest new actions for you on a per-app basis.

  • Rohan Shankar

    The buttons seem a little inconsistent with each other. They have different line weights etc etc. Could be because it's a test version too..

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      Are you stupid son? Did you read the article? These are mock ups designed by the Android Police team.

      i.e. NOT REAL SCREENSHOTS

      • Rohan Shankar

        Sorry mate. Didn't read the entire article! No need to get so aggressive though.

        • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

          Sorry brah, the steroids make me aggressive.

  • bL4Ck

    I don't really use google now hotword often so dunno how to feel about this, it could be useful if the phone listened while sleeping, a la Moto X, otherwise is pretty useless, i already do everything with a tap, don't really need extra steps (tap > speak) to achieve the same thing, but i'm used to the good old way of thinking, maybe this will help people less into tech to get things done faster.

  • vyktorsouza

    I think we're finally getting Android 5.0 now

  • http://yuyu780906.blogspot.com/ Jack

    Ok,Google voice command is not available in Taiwan.

  • skeeterfood

    This looks like a plan to make user interaction more consistent across Android Proper and Android Wear. I for one am fully behind this even if I won't use the feature much.

    • Seven

      Wearables will accept the input and send it to android device where actions actually take place.

  • Jack March

    I like the "OK Google Everywhere" idea, but I think the google button should be placed alongside the menu button in the actual bar, having the home screen through recents seems very confusing. They could also use a gesture.

  • blakjakdavy

    If I'm understanding this right, android is going to be a bit more like WebOS - just like the "home screen" on WebOS had cards of your recent apps, android will now have a "home screen" accessible with the recents button and apps and widgets will be part of that.

  • Anthony Tyson

    Omg yes

  • heat361

    Obviously the recent apps button could change, but I see no reason they would give it that shape when the multitasking view is a cards view so shouldn't the recent apps button look like cards.

  • JordanMcRae

    I think the buttons are fine as long as a single tap of the "Google" button would get you back to the Google Now Launcher. Which makes sense. They want the homescreen to BE Google. And then maybe a long press to bring up "Ok Google everywhere" and then a swipe up like current functionality to get into the Google Search app itself (with its reminders, sports scores, etc)

  • darkdude1

    "Ok Google everywhere" even when the screen is off? Yes please!

    • Simon Belmont

      This. So much this.

      I've been wanting this since I got my Nexus 5. Completely hands-free voice controlled interaction.

      • darkdude1

        The hardware support is there for it, sadly not implemented software level =(.

        • Simon Belmont

          Exactly. The hardware is there, but it sounds like this OK Google everywhere is them finally implementing it in software. The mock up shows a card for training it to only recognize your voice. Something that would be extremely useful if your phone was sitting there and someone else tried to activate it (it wouldn't work for them).

          If that's the case, I'd literally jump up for joy. I/O can't get here soon enough.

        • MelchiahX

          I believe it has to do with a propriety software that Motorola actually pays licensing fees to a third party company. I cannot recall the name of said company but I'm 100% certain I read it somewhere. So if Google wanted to implement a hands free feature like the Moto X then it would have to pay the license fee and imagine Google makes that a stock Android 4.4 feature it would have to incur the costs of all the future 4.4 Android devices and that's just not wise business wise so they Opted for the next best thing I believe.

          • Simon Belmont

            I think it's with Nuance. The company you mentioned (if it's true).

            Even if it is true, Google has much deeper pockets than Motorola, so incurring licensing fees for something like that I don't think is a huge issue. Google has been pushing the whole Star Trek computer interface and response system for a while now and going completely hands-free is a natural progression to that end.

          • MelchiahX

            Thx that's the company I was thinking of. I also agree that Google has all the money in the world to make this happen no question. But I can't see them doing it anytime soon, though I really hope I'm wrong with this.

          • Simon Belmont

            I hope you are, too. Haha. :)

            I've dreamed of being able to interact with my devices through voice only like Star Trek, literally, since I was a little kid. This brings it a large step closer to that dream. ;)

        • Tony Murray

          This doesn't need hardware support, because it is meant to be used when you are actively using the phone, not while it is off, like the Moto X.

      • ddpacino

        This would be Moto X capabilities on Steroids, too.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        No love in that for Nexus 4 though...

        • Simon Belmont

          Yeah. No low-power language core in the Nexus 4. :(

          Hopefully, all future phones start having a low-power language core onboard. They really should at this point. ;)

          • Gas_Huffer

            Isn't that sort of what the on-chip DSP is?

          • Simon Belmont

            Sort of, but the DSP chip in SoCs older than the Snapdragon 800 don't have an ultra low-power mode that is only listening for the activation keyword before spinning up the application CPU cores to processing the voice commands that follow. The older SoCs have a DSP chip that is just for normal digital signal processing.

            The Snapdragon 800 series chips have a Hexagon DSP with that low-power listening mode that I mentioned. The older Hexagon DSP chips don't.

          • Shushant Verma

            May be for old nexus devices they will make this feature to work only when the person is interacting with the device.That will also be a cool feature, considering other devices running different OS still dont have it, PLUS ! we have xda :D

    • dogulas

      Open Mic+ does this beautifully already. Tasker integration and all. "Utter!" takes it a step further even, although I haven't used Utter for the screen off part. Open Mic yes.

      • Simon Belmont

        Yeah. It does work.

        Unfortunately it doesn't make use of the low-power language processor. So battery life suffers. Google can make this work at the software level with OK Google everywhere. That's what I'm hoping it happening (it seems like it is).

        • dogulas

          Right. Hopefully all future phones have the right processor to implement it with low power usage. Fortunately for me I don't care about having a thin/light phone so a 7000 mAh battery handles it just fine already :)

          • Simon Belmont

            Well, the Nexus 5 has the right processor now. It's most likely to see this always listening feature first. :)

            7000 mAh. Haha, that's almost twice the size of my tablet's battery. :D

          • Joris Griffioen

            Well that isn't the problem, most phones have the possibility now but lack the software support..

  • Nicholas Polydor

    "Something very important to note right now, though, is that this interface will likely be part of the Google experience, and as such may not appear on non-Nexus/GPE devices. It's clear that Google is trying to build its own experience (with the Google Now launcher being one part) to differentiate its own vanilla Android experience from partners/competitors."

    Even though the Google Now Launcher is now available through the Play Store, @LiamSpradlin:disqus ?

    I'm also interested to see how this will compare with whatever Motorola have planned for the Moto X+1.

  • Jovie Brett Bardoles

    This is interesting huh, those overhauled 'navigation buttons' are somewhat matching the Google's own design language but the 'Google' home button is a little bit out of place :/
    The revamped UI of GNow screen actually matches it's design language too, just IMO guys :)

    PS
    The leaked hangouts and photo album icons are included on these leaks, might be? O.o

  • Zak Taccardi

    I'm not sure how much this makes sense. The home button is a little more important than voice actions.

    Having a Google voice action appear where the legacy menu button would appear sounds like a cool idea though

  • Grahaman27

    ONE QUESTION- will google now ever open up an API for third party developers?? for instance, you-version could enable looking up bible verses via google now.

  • Simon Belmont

    So, if this is OK, Google everywhere, does that mean even when the screen is off and the phone is idle? Kinda like Moto X's touchless controls (the Nexus 5 definitely has the hardware to do this).

    Because if that's the case, it's what I've been dreaming of. That and being able to have emails, texts, and notifications read to me completely hands-free (using only voice commands to initiate that).

  • IncCo

    Interesting..

  • Alexander Reddicks

    I just wish they would bring back the "Nexus Prime" softkeys. Plus the 'recents' button looks like what they want to accomplish with the new multitasking screen. Those will always be my favorite. My homescreen right now :)

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Bring back? were they ever a thing in Android?

      • Alexander Reddicks

        Yep. They were the first buttons on the Galaxy Nexus before it was made public. Plus when ICS first launched the new developer tools showed these buttons as the softkeys for the devices when you could preview the layouts.

        • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

          Hmm, well IDK. They look kinda boring to me, despite having a style

    • matteventu

      Weather widget and its theme? :D

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      Where did you get those soft keys? Did you by any chance get them from me back in the day?

      • Alexander Reddicks

        I'm not sure where I got them. I know I've had them nearly as long as I've had my GNex. The first ones I got were grey, which weren't really all that visible, so I may have used GIMP to make them white. Or I may have found white ones on a forum somewhere...not really sure which ones these are at this point. They've been sitting in a folder on my phone forever :P

      • Alexander Reddicks

        Sure. Lol. I'll definitely take some higher res ones if I can get them :)

  • Simon Belmont

    If the home button is becoming a "Google" button, it'd be much more desirable to just have a swipe up gesture to return to home than going through the multitasking UI, I think. Kinda like webOS' gesture area.

    That would be really cool and intuitive. Can't wait for Google I/O.

    • Brandon Miller

      Agreed. Since we will have Google Now always on our left most screen and the voice search where the home button is, maybe turn the current swipe up for Google Now gesture into swiping up to get to the home screen.

      • ddpacino

        Please... PLEASE!!!!!... let that be true! I miss webOS :(

  • ConCal

    The sucess of this would depend on how quickly and thourghly app makers actually used this in their apps.

  • Marc

    Imagine this...
    * A vast improvement on Google Cards, enabling you to select keywords, all websites and your favourite forum.
    * A chrome based launcher with easy to create shortcuts... Check the latest Chrome beta Android update which has the Google Logo and Mic icon, there is something in that!
    * A consistent service, if all of the important Google services were automatic or done in Chrome that that would help the huge defrag problem.

    I thin we have a Chrome OS Voice activated offline tablet to come soon?
    Right after they promote the Chromebase??

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      a Chrome OS tablet? That's, like, the most useless thing in the world

  • panagiώtis

    The only thing I want is to be able install vanilla android to any device. From Google so.I get asap the latest and greatest (see ios and wp ). not talking about other roms.

  • Mihail Nikolaev

    ахуенно!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BRNSMRF

    Need! Just tell me when I should start REPEATEDLY checking for updates.

  • Naga Sridhar

    That blue screen with Google Now reminds me of Samsung interface on their new tablets!

  • SVem26

    Dem transitions though..

  • brkshr

    I would like the ability to send a Hangouts IM through voice. Just like you can send a text.

  • Udayan Banerji

    Do you have a list of all the rumors you have ever posted, and the eventual product release, how different it was from what was rumored and so on? That will be fun to read.

    (Weekend homework for AP staff)

    • Arthur Dent

      Yeah, why don't you go ahead and compile that list, and we'll all have fun reading it?

      • Udayan Banerji

        Ok. Ok. I will do it over the weekend. Here goes my beach trip. It is cloudy anyways.

  • Vikram Mohan

    But before this rolls out, they must first enable hotword detection for most English languages. Isn't it restricted only to US English and very few others right now?...(read *not* English - India)

  • Toinou

    And things just keep getting uglier and uglier... Way to go Google, keep on destroying all those guidelines and design choices you worked (and pushed) so hard for from Android 4.0 to 4.3.X (included). You morons.

  • x3haloed

    I didn't quite follow along with your explanation for the modular structure of voice actions. When you say, "Each of those parameters would be a module that could be unplugged and put into other actions," do you mean that the parameters would be strung together in different configurations for different actions? Ex: [NewMessage ] [ReplyTo ] Would each of those modules contain logic about what kind of content they are looking for? Like, is trying to match the users' words with a contact in the address book, is looking for a sentence fragment, and is looking for a collection of sentences?

    • Simon Belmont

      I'm kind of hoping it works like Cortana does with third party apps' voice commands. Basically, you say the apps name first and then issue the command.

      Cortana processes the apps name and passes the command to the app itself. That would be cool.

      • thelionk

        Hum, I think this might be a bit different. It seems Google is going for something more contextual. Like, you'd just say Ok Google, Share with Johnny. And based on what app and which screen you are currently in, it'll figure out what you want to share and to whom. Probably apps will be able to listen to actions, so they might be able to process them given a context.

        Personally, I find all these voice actions to be worthless. Even if they worked 110%, it's faster to perform action with my hands in most cases. Think about real life, asking someone next to you do do something, or doing it yourself right away? It's always faster to just do it yourself.

        Where I'd like voice actions to be pimped out is on use cases where you need to be hands free.

        • Simon Belmont

          That's what I really want. Hands-free usage of my device through voice commands.

          I just want the device to listen to what I want, and to tell me what I need to hear when I ask it (smart replies to questions or reading back of incoming notifications, and dictated messages before sending them off, and performing tasks or adjusting system settings) completely with my voice. Literally, like the computer in Star Trek (which is what Google has wanted to do with Search / Now from the beginning as it's codename was Project Majel).

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Yes, I'd say you pretty much hit the nail on the head with our understanding of how modular actions would be structured.

      • x3haloed

        Hmm, interesting. I'm really excited to see how it pans out!

  • Slawootsky

    I hope that we will be able to at least get to the Home screen by swiping up from navbar - the gesture which is currently used to activate Google Now. I, a CM user, currently use this gesture to lock the phone - much more useful, especially on big phones.

  • MSrules

    Still waaaaayyyyyy behind than cortana.

    • Slawootsky

      In which aspects?

      • NothingUnknown

        In every aspect, except of course every aspect.

  • KingRando

    I don't think it would be a great idea for Google to only have this on Google experience phones...Unless of course it will be available in the Play store, like the launcher.

  • Kenne Phimmasonsouk

    I have the moto x and with these new commands coming I can do everything now without having to touch the phone! Couch potato for life! Time to gain
    10,000 lbs!

    • Vishal

      Not sure how touching a phone will help you lose any weight..... care to explain?

  • Tony

    Yes let's put the Home button 2 clicks away now cause that makes total sense :P, and I don't want the Chrome UI everywhere that's not attractive, should do multitasking like HTC does it.

  • Mystery Man

    Dankey Kang

  • pb

    finally! this is a feature I had long asked the android team, I finally really hope this is true and it will very quickly disponlible for all applications. if it is set up Android will be the cream of the cream! I hope before google i / o and the next big sdk but it is not before .. thank you for keeping us informed AP.

  • Rorix

    So basically everyone that doesn't speak english is #$%$# since Google Now features do not support more languages..... i'd suggest them to first get that done.

    • slurivariv

      This could be the update that opens it up to more languages.

      • Rorix

        i hope so, cause it's going to be a must if they plan to expand those services.

        • SVem26

          baby steps my friend..

  • Bariman43

    What's up with the image concepts? Just curious as you guys seem to be fleshing out concepts with animations and sketches without ever having seen a leak. How do you know the recents menu and the nav buttons are going to look like that?

    EDIT: Another thing that bugs me is how you know that the g in a red circle is a major part of the rumor. Was that in the information you got or are you extrapolating?

    • Nathan Boldt

      "What's up with the image concepts?"

      You just answered your own question.

      Also, from the article.

      "That said, we are confident that some form of this functionality will be implemented, even if it isn't exactly what we lay out here."

      Additionally,

      "As with many rumors, we won't be able to provide source images here, but be assured that we reproduce interfaces and experiences as faithfully as we can to demonstrate what we're talking about."

      • Bariman43

        It actually doesn't answer my question. I have to guess that the rumors are just reaching them as detailed text information, and based on that they're creating these mockup images. It just bugs me that despite the disclaimer at the top, it still sounds like they're sure of what certain things are going to look like.

  • thelionk

    My fear with this, is that it seems like you are losing control over the phone, as more and more, it guesses what you want and execute things in a way you might not be aware of. For example, I find the Hangouts app does this with it's contacts. It's very hard to know where the contact came from, merge them, etc. You just need to trust it, find a contact and start talking. I like to know what's going on and feel in charge.

    • Chapa

      Hangouts relies on your People app and also on your Google+ account. If you have those tidied up enough, surely your contacts will be in order in Hangouts.
      Android is a modular system already. Each app talks to each other, interconnected. If you change something elsewhere, it will affect all the other apps that plug to your changes. (Ex. take a look at how WhatsApp picks your friends from your phone list, and sometimes you have to merge them manually because of some area code that wasn't there originally)

      • thelionk

        I feel like Hangouts is a lot more complex than that. For example, it has contacts from the old Gtalk system, from Google+, from People, from other Hangout users that are not on Google+, and sometimes also from someone who I have just emailed or received an email from. It has nowhere where it lists all the contacts that are not from People, it only lists a set of people I recently hanged out with.

        When you click the + to initiate a hangout, you get Phone Contacts, that's all the people from the People app which I can SMS with. And it has People you Hangout with, which I don't know how it's populated. There is no way to link a Hangout contact, that is, someone you added using an email, which doesn't have Google+ and the same person inside People.

        When you go to search, try to enter something like 222, see what's suggested? First you have the option to SMS 222, than to Find on Hangouts, and finally to Pick from Google+.

        If instead, you type 222@gmail.com, you now also have the option of Add by Email. If you type a name, you'll get some suggestion that are coming from I think the People you hang out with, from Phone Contacts and from Suggested on Google+.

        Finally, if you search for a Circle, that's just a mess. Some circles it gives you errors when you launch a convo, you are joined into a weird group, you can leave your own hangouts, it's not archived the same way, etc.

        There's a whole other set of problems too. Why can't you see if the people in the Phone Contacts list are on Hangouts or not, the grey/green indicator doesn't show up for them. Some contacts only list the phone number, even though they have a name defined. Some people who show up as being on Hangouts, actually aren't, because they absolutely never answer and when I ask them in real life, they don't even know the fuck Hangout is or just tell me they never use it.

        I love Hangouts, in that, it's got potential, and does a good job at letting me chat, video chat, call, sms, etc. But, I have no idea how the hell it behaves. It's a case of the end result is what matters, I need to talk to X, I somehow find him listed somewhere, god knows how, and I attempt to contact him, if he replies, I have succeeded, if he doesn't, I try another way. The problem is, you can not predict if it will succeed or not unless you try it, and see if he ever answers you.

    • morteum

      I kind of get what you mean. I've had some issues after the most recent Hangouts update regarding my contacts. Try as I might, I cannot send a regular SMS message to one particular contact because it continues to switch over to a Hangouts message- when I click the icon in the bottom left corner and switch it to SMS it instantly reverts back to the Hangouts icon. He never uses Hangouts, so that creates a problem. I've even tried separating his Google account from his number and deleting the contact as a whole and re-entering his information. It's weird.

      Anyway, regarding the whole control of your phone thing- I get you. As a tech enthusiast I am always excited to see progress in automation for the everyday person, however, I also feel like the further we opt-in the less freedom we have. Do we choose convenience or personal autonomy? I'd imagine most people would say personal autonomy is more important, but their (our) actions would prove otherwise.

  • morteum

    Too... much... google....
    But seriously this looks pretty awesome. Obviously I disagree with some of the UI elements ("Google" as a homebutton... seriously?), but overall I'm excited to see how Android evolves over the next few years.

    • Chapa

      Google Now should stick to the swipe-up gesture but instead of bringing the Google Button, you pull up a complete Google Now (Ok, Google) overlay that is context aware (that is, it KNOWS what app are you right now and it hooks up to it)

      I still mourn the loss of the Search button. Not just the button per-se but its functionality, allowing to search in any app that supported it, instead of resorting to Google Search alone. Ahhh, Gingerbread was the last time we saw such functionality.

      • morteum

        Yeah, I definitely prefer the swipe-up method, especially if it already has hotword detection implemented. I don't see why they would feel the need to throw in an extra step to get to the homescreen. I don't know, I'd have to try it out first I guess. All I know is the word "Google" is already all over my phone and I don't think they need to have it permanently at the bottom of the phone.

        I'm not sure how I feel about the search button. It was definitely convenient, but sometimes sloppily implemented. I figure as long as they could polish the process it would be a really handy function, but I don't think that will happen now.

        • Chapa

          If it weren't for some pesky Apple patent issue, we'd have proper Universal Search and that'd be the end of it. Although, we'd get there through another method (thus not violating any patent) if these rumors are confirmed...

    • grooves12

      100% agreed. Multi-tasking is mostly a myth on a small screen device. The search button and long-press for voice was much more useful than a multi-tasking button. I blame Palm and the tech-blogs over-excitement for the card interface. I also am not a fan of the swipe for Google-now action that replaced the search button.

  • br_hermon

    I like voice control, I do. I use it alot and develop my own stuff with Tasker and AutoVoice but... Opening up voice control, waiting for it to start "hearing" or tap the menu key, share. Seems they're complicating things here. In many applications voice control will be welcomed but this doesn't seem like one of them.

  • Kareem Ayman

    I have a somewhat irrelevant question, you guys are great at design IMO, don't you think the site needs a visual refresh?

  • Blendi Krasniqi

    "The obvious question is "how do you get to the home screen?" It appears - from what information we have - that users could get to the home screen through recents, where the home screen is accessed by swiping to the right from the recents list."

    No...Just,no.

  • Omega192

    Hmm, is the embedded video not working for anyone else?

    • Simon Belmont

      Didn't work for me in Firefox (at work). Ironically, it worked great in Chrome on my Nexus 5.

      Not sure why. I think it's just a plain HTML5 embedded video.

  • sebas

    It's obvious that Google improve Google now and it can listen to you everywhere you are in the phone! Its a very good idea such as moto X but muy question is when??? In Spain we are waiting yet the activation by "OK Google" on our nexus 5.... I don't why Google don't activate in Spanish.... :(

    • Guest

      porque la mayoría de los desarrolladores se encuentran en los estados unidos

    • Simon Belmont

      Anywhere in the phone, yes. Also, while it's asleep (think Moto X).

      I hope that Google is working diligently to bring this to other countries. Everyone should get to use it.

  • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

    This should come earlier rather than later, before Siri begins to implement something like that, but call me pessimistic, whenever I hear " ... Google is trying to build its own experience (with the Google Now launcher being one part) to differentiate its own vanilla Android experience from partners/competitors.", it's a bad sign. Why? Google NEVER seems to be serious about making its own hardware, if it's only a GPE feature, how many people will be seeing and using this is a big question. It's extremely unlikely that people would rush to buy a Nexus because of ANY features Google adds to Android -- history has shown us that it takes more than making a great product to be commercially successful. Marketing plays a significant role, and Google seems to be doing a really poor job (or reluctant to do a good job) on that.

  • http://www.rockodev.com/ RockoDev

    "Share this photo" command opens a Hangouts popup instead a Google+?

  • Rob
  • NF

    Respond only to my voice? Yes please. That would be perfect for Glass.

  • http://iron2000.blogspot.com/ iron2000

    Google Now is becoming an even bigger part of Android.
    Perhaps "Ok Google Everywhere" is something that came from Wear.

    Anyway I suppose it will increase the battery drain.
    Glad that it seems to be an opt-in.

    Waiting for Google IO for announcements :)

    • Simon Belmont

      No. Not if it's using a low-power language core for always-on listening for activation of the OK Google keyword (the Nexus 5 and basically all new flagships have one).

      That's likely exactly what it will be doing. Otherwise, you'd be right, if the mic were constantly on with no dedicated low-power chip to take care of that, it would drain the battery pretty fast.

  • Paarth Desai

    anyone made the icons of the new navigation bar ?

  • Jon

    That's sad because Android becomes more Google dependent. More apps become closed source. (Camera, Browser, SMS app). But on other side this new UI is beautiful and I think it'll be very usable.

    • Simon Belmont

      It's true. More apps are becoming closed up and taken out of AOSP.

      The bright side of that equation is that they get updated much faster outside of full OS updates. I sort of see it as a give and take and I'd like to have apps updated with new features and bug fixes faster, rather than slower.

  • Jason Dow

    Am I the only one that can't stand voice commands? Unless you're like driving or have your hands full they always seem a worse option to me, and I don't want to hear jackasses talking to thier phones.

    It's nice to have as an option, but it will never be this killer thing they all seem to think it will be.

  • TheLastAngel

    If all the changes in Android 5.0 revolve around voice commands (which I don't need and also barely work outside the US) and redesigned Google apps, this may be the end of the road for me for a while. My N5 and 4.4 just work so flawlessly, I don't have those update "cravings" I felt these last four years. This stuff just bores me.

    It was a great ride though.

  • Roodly Philogene

    I hope this doesn't happen. I will ditch android faster than a rotten apple. I don't want a persistent Google button on my face all the time. I am already so used to the home button. It will impossible to get me off of it.

  • blindexecutioner

    I don't care for voice actions at all. That means the next version of Android will probably have very little I care about.

  • didibus

    I wonder what will happen to AOSP. Modifying the Nav bar seems like more than a Launcher addon. This will require deep rooted changes in the code of the OS itself. Hopefully, they make it modular, in that AOSP will support plugin modules that could bind and modify things like System Nav Bar, Recents, etc. And the Google Launcher will only leverage this tech to offer this new Google Experience. That would actually be awesome. Because it would mean 3rd party apps, launchers, ROMs or OEM ROMs could also now have the ability to dive deeper and customize things like Navigation Bar, Recents, Global Swipes, Always Listening System, etc.

    I truly hope that's what they do, and not simply Googlify AOSP and force the Google button and Google experience down everyone's throats.

  • laserOS

    Am I the only one that HATES the idea of the home button leaving?

  • warex3d

    Cortana is better