Most of the app updates this week were relatively quiet, with the notable exception of Play Music with its new ad-supported radio feature. That doesn't have to mean some of the updates don't have something new to offer. The Google app (formerly "Search") was bumped up to v4.8 yesterday, but it doesn't seem to have any noticeable changes right now. However, a look under the hood reveals some pretty interesting features on the horizon.
If you want to do absolutely everything from the "OK Google" voice prompt in Android... well, you can't. You can't, say, fire a rocket at the moon, or end world hunger, or have a dachshund puppy delivered to your doorstep. But developer João Dias is trying his darnedest to make all of that happen, and with the latest update to his AutoRemote app, it's getting closer and closer. You might even be able to make that rocket thing happen if you know someone at NASA.
Here's something that might just blow your mind. If you perform a voice search and Google misunderstands you, or you happen to garble your words, there's a quick way to take care of that. Just follow up with a second search that begins with "No, I said..." Google will then replace the incorrect word with what you said the second time.
Here's an example. Let's say you're in a hurry to get to our lovely website, and you say "OK Google, take me to Android Police." It doesn't hear you properly, and somehow you end up with Android mobile.
The Touchless Control feature on the Moto X and Verizon's 2013 DROIDs (Ultra, Maxx, and Mini) is already one of the coolest Android manufacturer add-ons around. Today it gets just a little cooler: the Touchless Control app was updated to add a "What's up" command. This voice command will make your phone read out the unread notifications in your status bar. This should be great for hands-free updates while driving. Or bathing.
Since its introduction, Google Glass has been in the unfortunate position of having relatively limited functionality. However, with a steady stream of updates and eventually the emergence of the Glassware tab in the MyGlass interface, we've known the elusive wearable was due for some more exciting things. A few weeks after announcing plans to add Play Music to Glass, Google has quietly added it to the list of apps supported on the elusive wearable.
Have you noticed that sometimes your Nexus 5 reverts to the old Ice Cream Sandwich-style pop-up for voice dictation in some apps, as opposed to the less disruptive "endless dictation" on-the-keyboard style? You're not alone. Our fearless leader Artem found that his N5's microphone icon was missing from the default keyboard, and using contextual mic icons (in search boxes and other places) caused the aforesaid behavior. It was also affecting third-party keyboards like SwiftKey.
Show of hands, who uses CyanogenMod? Oh, you do? I've got some good news: your camera is about to become a little more interested in what you have to say. A few hours ago, CyanogenMod announced that the included camera app will integrate a voice-activated shutter mode. Judging by one of the pictures, a new time-delayed mode will be part of the package, as well. Take a look:
As you can tell, a few different words can be used to activate the shutter, currently Cid, Whiskey, and Cheese.
When Google announced Keep last week, one of the coolest features we learned about is the ability to accept the "note to self" command that has been part of Google's Voice Actions since the Froyo days. Previously, this would send an email to your own account with the transcribed text and the original audio file. Keep allowed users to send that data to a proper note-taking app instead. Well, as it turns out, Catch wants in on that voice action, so in a recent update, it's added the ability as well.
I make no bones of the fact that I find 3rd party voice assistants to be increasingly redundant, especially with the arrival of Google Now on Jelly Bean.
But Google Now doesn't do certain things. One of those things has annoyed me since the early days of Google's Voice Actions: you can't make calendar events through voice input. And as a person that absolute despises digital calendars, this is something of a "must have" feature.
Ever since the Pebble Smartwatch got millions in funding from Kickstarter, other companies have been coming out of the woodwork in hopes of getting a smartwatch on your wrist. The Martian smartwatch is a slightly different take on the concept, though. These devices would be based mostly on voice commands over Bluetooth.
The video is clearly using a lot of Siri commands, which Android devices won't support. Since this is essentially a fancy Bluetooth device, all the voice commands that work through a regular Bluetooth headset on your phone will be available with Martian.