14
Jul
Commandr-Thumb

Commandr expands on Google Now by giving its users the ability to toggle hardware switches and control music with simple voice commands. There isn't a standardized way for third-party developers to do such a thing, but that hasn't stopped this developer from coming up with a product worth watching. The original release was more cool than practical, but version 2.0 goes a long way towards correcting this.

Previously Commandr required users to say "Note to self" before every action, resulting in the very awkward, "OK Google, Note to self, turn off wifi." Now the middle bit is no longer required.

Screenshot_2014-07-13-12-53-25 Screenshot_2014-07-13-12-53-40 Screenshot_2014-07-13-12-53-57

Screenshot_2014-07-13-12-54-17 Screenshot_2014-07-13-12-54-36 Screenshot_2014-07-13-12-54-44

Commandr appears to work by listening whenever Google Search is, then immediately cancelling whatever action Search was about to perform and doing its own thing instead. It works largely as you would expect, though there are some hiccups here and there. The app isn't particularly consistent, sometimes turning on my HTC One's flashlight in the background, sometimes opening up the default flashlight app instead. It occasionally failed to accurately report whether the flashlight was on or off.

Mileage may vary with device. We found that GPS toggle doesn't appear to be enabled on the OnePlus One. Similarly, music controls, which are supposed to be universal, didn't work with Poweramp on the same device.

All in all, this is a step in the right direction. Yet if the thought of Commandr listening automatically in the background is disconcerting, the app retains the option to re-enable the "Note to self" command. It's not particularly elegant either way thanks to the hiccups, but hopefully the developer will smooth these out soon enough.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Josep Reyes

    nice. gonna give it go. thanks

  • Shawn

    Feels more native now when using the commands but I'm having problems with getting the flashlight on/off using voice.

    • Kevin Aaronson

      Sames

      • abobobilly

        [img]http://global3.memecdn.com/english-madafaka_o_1807825.jpg[/img]

        • Kevin Aaronson
          • Huzefa Shakir

            Well played.

    • coolsilver

      Torch?

  • CuriousCursor

    An API for apps to offer custom commands while in an app would be cool. Like for a camera app, you could go "take a photo" and it would take a photo while you're in the camera app.

    Of course, this example is very broad but an API would allow for really fine tuned commands like maybe for a reddit app, it could be "Open r Android" and it would open that.

    • NF

      This can be done using SpeechRecognizer hardwired in the app. Though I imagine the battery impact is pretty large.

  • Many99

    Is there anyone using the 2.0 version after you say a command the okay google stops listening.

  • Udayan Banerji

    Does the GPS toggle require root? I think (and hope) so.

    • Roberto Giunta

      I have a Nexus 5 and the GPS toggle doesn't even work there. Very strange.

      • Shawn

        Same. I'm on stock 4.4.4 with root.

        • Darrien Glasser

          I can explain this, it's because GPS as a setting "doesn't exist" anymore. In 4.4 it was replaced with "Location." Because of this, even the stock Power Widget on the Nexus 5 (or really any other device that has it for that matter and is on KitKat) doesn't toggle GPS. It toggles either "High Accuracy" "Battery Saving" or "Device Only."

          Because of this, any app that calls the legacy command of turning just GPS on or off will do nothing, or redirect to the Location subsection of settings.

          • Kevin Aaronson

            Very helpful, thanks.

    • Eirik Corneliussen

      Hmm, why do you hope it requires root?

      • Udayan Banerji

        Because apps should not be able to turn on "fine" location. That is bad for battery and privacy.

        Though some people might be ok with it.

        Also, I use trigger and the only thing it doesn't allow me to toggle is GPS. Which I find reasonable.

        • Eirik Corneliussen

          Ah, yeah that makes sense.

        • https://sites.google.com/site/livingroomhush/ Alessandro L

          Like Google cares, it's just a bug.

    • Romdude

      GPS toggle doesn't work on my non-rooted htc one m7.

  • http://gplus.to/bdbplatano M. Puente

    I love it when developers fix Android before Google does.

    • abobobilly

      Well Google takes a million years to fix petty issues anyway, so BOO Google.

  • MikeOxlong

    Used to work, although was kinda pointless with the long verbiage required in order to perform simple tasks. Now it doesn't seem to do anything 75% of the time. Nexus 5 here.

  • Matt Terk

    Any chance we will see android Wear compatibility?

    • Jason Bourne

      Seconded. If this app supported Android Wear, it'd definitely make my Top 5 Apps for Android Wear list!! Ha. hello.wordpress.com

      • Ihateboredgames

        You dork.

  • abobobilly

    "Commandr appears to work by listening whenever Google Search is, then immediately cancelling whatever action Search was about to perform and doing its own thing instead."

    Oh my, Google may not be happy with this. I am pretty sure this app is gonna go down for breach of some terms and conditions.

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  • Jesús Cuenca

    I love it but i wanna speak to my device in spanish :c

  • mattcoz

    Yeah, lots of hiccups, and Google Now has a really hard time with the "resume music" command. No, not "zoom music', not "zoo music", and not... wait, "brazil music"?

    • Aooga

      You can change it to anything you want.

      • mattcoz

        I know, just found it funny.

  • Shane Redman

    Now that google is trying to add these commands in itself, commandr performs the action, but also opens the settings app

  • 0A05

    It's not working on my Xperia Z :( hope they will fixed it with a future update, was working well before the update...

  • Reeved

    Does this work offline?

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    What about the Google Now API for xposed Framework? Is that thing useful for this app?

  • Dan W

    Hm...now when I say "turn on wifi", it says "opening wifi settings" and goes to the wifi menu, instead of turning it on automatically. anyone else experiencing this?

    • Bog

      Same here!

  • Guest

    App with a douchey dropped-'vowl' name? Not installing ....

  • Reeved

    Does anybody know how I can use this with Tasker?

  • Christopher Bement

    I've used Commandr a few times now, and every time I install it, it breaks my most-used Google Now commands, "navigate to" and "call X". I don't care about toggles and flashlights nearly as much, and having notes to self emailed are actually pretty damn convenient.

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