Earlier this month, when we recapped all the rumor and leak posts we had published leading up to Google I/O, hands-free functionality called Android Eyes-Free (codenamed KITT) was marked as "partially live." For those in need of a refresher, our post outlined in-car functionality that would carry a stripped-down interface, notifications read aloud by Google, and a new hand-waving gesture used to wake the device.

While the hands-free hotword functionality has already debuted, the dedicated in-car interface, void of any visual chrome, has yet to be revealed (or even really hinted at) by Google.

But a small tidbit spotted in one of Google's promotional gifs today might give us just a little more hope that the functionality is still in progress.

Earlier today, Google's official Google+ page published a gif demonstrating quick translation of phrases to different languages using the Search app.

Luckily for us, the gif is based on a rather poorly-edited screenshot which - besides attempting to cover up the L status bar with a KitKat status bar - reveals a dogfood Photos icon, and another icon labeled "Google Hands-..." (presumably "Hands-Free") with fitting steering wheel imagery. Take a look at the gif and the still shot side by side:

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The icon is clearly still a boilerplate and likely not the final design, but the fact that it's here, on what appears to be an off-the-cuff screenshot taken hastily for this promo gif, suggests that Google's planned in-car functionality is indeed still being worked on. Hopefully we'll hear or see something official soon.

Source: Google (Google+)

Thanks, Erik!

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.

  • Drago

    Please just let it read me my texts and notifications back when I ask. Like "what are my notifications (or texts)?"

    That and read back dictated texts before offering to send. Those two features would make hands free usage great.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      The functionality is expected to read notifications when they come in (if you have the option activated), but we don't know yet if you'll be able to ask for all notifications on demand. I would expect that functionality though.

      • NF

        I was looking for this function, so I built it using Tasker. It's not too hard.

    • Gregory

      This is available already on Moto X as a part of its Touchless Control but it's not useful for me as it just skips any non-English characters in messages.

      • Drago

        Yeah. True.

        But, I have a Nexus 5, though. This functionality is definitely coming to stock Android soon in Android L release.

    • Sir_Brizz

      How about just being able to send a message through freaking hangouts instead of as SMS? I can't believe they don't have that yet.

      • Drago

        This! So much this.

        I want to be able to choose use voice commands for a Hangouts chat, too. Needs to happen!

    • StraightEdgeNexus

      I'd rather stop the car and check them myself. ;)

    • Solmund Oland

      Try out Utter! It has that kind og functionality (plus a bunch of other cool features!).

  • Miguel Ripoll

    IMDb. You know... for testing purposes at work! Nice to see updates about this by the way.

    • Dennis Ulijn

      I think that's for testing deep linking into apps from a Google now voice search

  • David Lima

    Anyone else notice the paws on top the of the 'photos' app indicating 'dogfooding'?

    • dduu

      Did you not read the article? It mentioned it.

    • Miguel Ripoll

      "reveals a dogfood Photos icon" from the article itself. You guys should take a break to read the whole article, the author spent time writing it! :)

  • Thomas’

    And the "Photos" icon actually shows the dogfood version of G+ ;-)

    • PiLoT .

      what do you mean "and the", it says that in the article

      • Thomas’

        Oh, missed this half-sentence while skimming the article.

  • jonathan3579

    I've been waiting for this to be added back into Android. I haven't seen it since Gingerbread.

  • Blendi Krasniqi

    I don't this this is unintentional, you can clearly see they edited the footage and added the black status bar and black software buttons on top of transparent ones.

  • dewr

    The icon name is not full on the home screen ending with ...

    WTF Google?!

    • Mado

      Clearly they are still testing it.

  • NM

    Or maybe it's "Google Hands-That-Kill-People". Who knows?

  • StraightEdgeNexus

    Its kitkat, yet no transparent status bar Wtf? :-/

    • PiLoT .

      you win my daily "dicklord overreaction award"

      • StraightEdgeNexus

        Thanks for the useless award -_-

        • PiLoT .

          useless comments get useless rewards

    • BozzyB

      The status bar is "photoshoped". You can see pieces of a transparent status bar under it.

  • ginobili1

    I think Google wanted to tease us, that's why the dog's paw on the photo app. I like how Google's adding new cool stuff as the L's release nears.

  • KijBeta

    I can say "OK Google" and say a place to search and navigate, set timers and meetings, send text messages and call. All by voice with no touch. Now the only thing I need is it to read my texts and it would work for nearly everything I need while driving. Options for voice control of gmail, and hangout calls would be nice also.

    • cr08

      Along these lines there are a plethora of items where the on screen response should and can be spoken back to you but does not for whatever reason. Would be really nice as an interim update in the meantime.

    • Clubber

      Agreed. The only other thing I'd ask for is reading back the text you've just dictated for correctness before asking for it to be sent, because that would make it 100% hands and eyes free.

      That and being able to have my texts and other notifications read on demand via voice commands. That would be perfect.

  • Adrian Martin

    Was the prototype called KARR?

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

    It actually has nothing to do with us. The Disqus spam filter is really bad about triggering false positives, and it misses a ton of legitimate spam. We've tried yelling at them several times, but it hasn't done any good. There are a few of us that routinely comb through the messages marked as spam and approve them when we can.

  • MrWicket

    yes PLEASE!

  • Sandro

    The german translation is wrong...

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  • Joe Menard

    It really bugs me that the app title has such a long name that it is cut off. why not just name it "hands free"

  • Gautham Yerroju

    About effing time this is made standard in Android XD

  • jeffhesser

    Either you guys are really bad with your tags or you didn't cover any of the in-car stuff they talked about at I/O because none of the tags in this article take me to the coverage from that event.