Quite a while ago, we wrote about an upcoming hands-free (and eyes-free) interface code-named KITT. The interface - intended for use in the car or in other places where looking at your phone isn't wise - would be stripped down, displaying a black screen and large iconography, and would have the ability to read notifications aloud, among other things. More recently, an icon for an app called Google Hands-Free showed up in a promotional gif posted to Google's Google+ page, hinting that the service was still under development.

Today, it looks like another clue toward Google's Hands-Free interface has surfaced - this time, it's in the actual Google Search app. Users who open the Search app and simply search for "hands free" will see a card that appears to be "starting hands-free," though for now the activity doesn't actually start - the card just hangs there until the user takes action.

wm_Screenshot_2014-08-05-15-06-31 wm_Screenshot_2014-08-05-18-32-23

Speaking the query will present the card on the left, while pressing the card or typing typing the query presents the card on the right.

As commenters have pointed out, a "g" icon appears in the notification bar when the user hits the card, but quickly disappears as seen in the gif below (thanks Derek!). This is the same notification that typically appears when Google is busy completing a task like setting a reminder.


While this still doesn't confirm any timeframe for release, it's just one more clue of what's to come. Here's hoping we hear something official soon.

Thanks, Eduardo Ruiz!

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.

  • Mike Gonzalez

    dayum, when i say Ok Google "manos libres" the spanish for hands free, the app crashes
    they must be doing something powerful

    • Fatty Bunter

      bit of a jump in logic there, but yeah let's hope so

    • germanguy

      Same with the german "Hände frei"

      • Matze

        "Hände frei"? LOL! "Freisprechen" shows the card and dies not crash the app...

        • Matze

          does not dies

    • JoeyKhache

      I said "manos libres" and it gave me search results for "sleeping tits"....hmmm..

    • Cristiano Allan

      Oh yeah, the same in Portuguese "mãos livres" ... they seems to be really working on it!

      • VFXX


        • Cristiano Allan

          Nice! I'll take a chance again so...

          (Legal que te achei aqui, um BR! kkk)

          • André Felipe Santos

            Another Pt-Br users, nice! And by the way, Google Search crashes all the time here. Moto X, 4.4.2

    • Zombie

      Same in italian with "mani libere".

  • Peter

    My Nexus 5 reacts slightly differently. When I search for 'hands free' it gives me the option to start hands free, when i click the option a notification briefly appears and vanishes.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Did you type the search? I believe if you speak the search the card above appears, but if you type it, the manual start card appears.

      • Peter

        Ah yep, i did.

    • Derek Traini

      Same thing happened to me. I voice searched it, clicked "Google hands-free" and a "G" flickered in the top left of my phone. I'll try to record and upload it.

      • Miguel Ripoll


      • Peter

        If you add the 'settings' widget and choose 'notifications' you get the history of what has appeared in the notification area. You probably already knew that anyway :)

        • my95z34

          It just lists as Google Search. :-/

        • Austin

          I already knew that. I was trying to see if any Notification Listener apps, that work with tasker, can detect it. Nope!

      • Guest

        Here is the gif

      • Derek Traini
    • Ajb.esquire

      Same,if I say "OK google hands free" mine says "starting hands free" and there's a click able button that does nothing

      • Richard

        From my test, it seems to bring up a google icon in the notification bar for less than a second before it disappears.

    • joser116

      Moto G too, it's nothing special. It happens with other things too.

  • maharbert

    When i voice search hands free, i get an audio reply: "hands free is not available with this version of google search, please update the app in the play store."!!!!

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

      Mine says in voice "Starting Google Hands Free."

    • Paul_Werner

      Mine says "Starting Google Hands Free" but when you search for "Hands Free Off" then it says what you just stated maharbert

  • neonoafs

    I tried on iPad, it says: "Hands free is not available with this version, update the app on Google Play Store"

    • Brad

      and then a link to buy the nexus 7

  • Ross Cohen

    Now try saying "hands free off"! If I just say "hands free", I get the card, "hands free off" tells me to update the app.

    • NexusPhan

      I think this is bigger than the initial article! They hard coded in that response. Gotta be getting closer.

    • Kevin Aaronson

      Nice find!

    • Danonino

      It works in Spanish too! If you say "apaga manos libres" it tells you (in English) to update the app.

  • Internet liar

    When I say 'hands free' my hands fall off and my nexus 6 prototype levitates in front of me.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      APK plz

    • Kathleen David


      ♛♛♛ ♛�♛♛ ♛♛♛ ♛♛♛ ♛♛♛ �♛♛♛

  • pdb

    Same in french "mains libres''

  • Guest

    For your consideration, This is one of the activities you can see using shortcuts in Nova Launcher.

  • Ido Shyvits

    For your consideration, This is one of the activities you can see using shortcuts in Nova Launcher. When you click on it, it crashes.

    • Guest

      And this one make it crash.

  • black

    dis news sux.

  • Sir Perro

    Well if you look for "manos libres" in Spanish via "ok google" Google search just breaks. I've tried other searches and it is fine. If you do the search manually... See screenshot

    • Sir Perro


  • Xde

    It doesn't work anymore in latest update (

  • Simon Belmont

    This is good news. Then it sounds like we'll be able to turn hands free mode on and off with a voice command.

    They just need to add a voice command that will read me my messages or notifications on demand, and I'd be so happy. That and reading back dictated text messages before offering to send, would make it completely hands free.