You probably know that you can use the "OK Google" command in Google Now (and just recently, anywhere else in Android) to do some cool things like set an alarm or check a flight number. But up to now, it hasn't been able to do much with the actual hardware on your phone. There's no easy way to expand Google Now functionality with third-party apps, but at least one developer found a work-around: meet Commandr, the new in-between service for flipping hardware switches in Google Now.

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Commandr can toggle your phone or tablet's Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or GPS, turn the LED flashlight on or off, and even pause or advance music - you know, all those things you normally use widgets for - via Google Now voice commands. It does this in a roundabout way: after you assign Commandr as the default app for the "Note to self" command, it will listen for specific commands for hardware controls. For example, "Note to self, turn on flashlight" will toggle your LED light. Any command that Commandr doesn't recognize will be sent to your usual app, which is probably either Gmail or Google Keep.

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This is a neat way of hacking Google Now's voice command function, but it's more interesting than practical. For now the default commands are pretty limited, and there are so many little steps involved that using a widget or the Quick Settings panel would be faster for most of the actions. You need to say, "OK Google," then your "Note to self" command, then the hardware command, then wait for Google's voice server to interpret your recorded voice, then wait on Google Now's 3-second failsafe delay.

That being said, the app already integrates with power user favorite Tasker, and there's no telling what the developer will throw into future updates. Commandr is one to watch. It's a free download for Android 4.1 or higher.

Thanks, Eduardo Ribeiro!

Commandr for Google Now
Commandr for Google Now
Developer: RSenApps Inc.
Price: Free+