I need to make an apology to all our readers. I dropped the ball. A brand new, extremely useful, Xposed module was released and I totally missed it. Then on Wednesday the Nova launcher developer, Kevin Barry, released an update to his app that mentioned the module in his announcement and I didn’t follow it up. In a nutshell, the Ok Google commands now work on Nova launcher, just as they do for the Google Now launcher. I’m also here telling you that there is an Xposed module to make Ok Google commands work within each and every app you want it to.
According to Kevin, originally the Google Hotword API was not accessible but it eventually found its way into AOSP. I found Google’s Hotword API was active and accessible. There are hints of it in AOSP but then that version was “scrapped” by Google and the API was incorporated into the Google Search app. From here he was able to easily hook into the API and use it within his app. Not wanting to give competitors a head start he didn’t release it publicly until the stable version of 3.0 was ready. Unbeknown to him another developer, MohammadAG, was working on it simultaneously.
MohammadAG has produced an Xposed module, called “OK Google For 3rd Party Launchers”, that allows any app at all to hook into the API allowing OK Google commands from within it. Once you have installed the module, activated it and rebooted you can go through the list of apps installed on your device and the activities within the app itself to decide for which activities the app will work for. At this stage I just chose the main apps I use and all activities within the app. I have tested it out successfully on Google+, Gmail, CarHome Ultra and others and each and every time it has worked flawlessly. At this stage it is unknown how much battery it uses and whether having it active on more apps increases battery usage.
The module itself has a very basic interface which on the opening page shows the installed launchers and by default it works for those. If you then “select activities” you can determine which other apps it can intercept the API for. At this stage I have just chosen my most-used apps but will slowly expand it to all if I don’t see too much of a battery hit using it. The module can be found within the repository of the Xposed Framework app.
If you are running Xposed framework on your device and also like to use the OK Google commands then I can highly recommend this module for you. It is a nice addition to the pseudo custom rom I wrote about yesterday. It also well and truly rules me out from ever using the Google Now launcher now that the OK Google commands can be used within any other launcher and any other app. Now if only a launcher could hook into Google Now and have a dedicated Google Now page to the left such as the Google Now launcher it’d be icing on the cake.
At this stage the OK Google commands only work on KitKat roms and of course Xposed will only work with Dalvik runtime.
Is this something you are looking for? Will you be giving it a shot? What is your favourite OK Google command?