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.

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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.

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