Google Voice Commands are a mixed bag, you either love them or hate them. Google has been busy in the background expanding usability of voice commands to third party applications and today they’ve announced the first raft of apps to be included.
From today, Google has announced that a selection of apps, including NPR, Flixster, TuneIn Radio and Shazam, will now offer ‘Ok Google’ Voice commands allowing you to forget typing commands and simply tell Google to do something. Obviously for the voice command, you will need the app installed for the function to actually work, but it’s good to go once this is done.
As you see above, telling Google to ‘Listen to NPR’ is the example chosen for the announcement, but we’re not known as massive NPR listeners here in Australia, but there’s other options which will have more utility in your day-to-day life. The first to come to mind is Shazam integration which allows you to ‘Ok Google, Shazam this song’ to have Shazam grab a title – though how this is an improvement over the generic ‘Ok Google, what is this song’ that currently exists is a mystery – though will have benefit for current Shazam users.
There’s a list of the new commands over on the Google Support page for Ok Google:
- Flixster: “Show me Inception on Flixster.”
- Instacart: “Show instacart availability.”
- Lincoln: “Start my Lincoln MKZ.”
- NPR One: “Listen to NPR.”
- Realtor.com: “Show rentals near me on Realtor.”
- Shazam: “Shazam this song.”
- TripAdvisor: “Show attractions near me on TripAdvisor.”
- Trulia: “Show homes for sale in Boston on Trulia.”
- TuneIn Radio: “Open TuneIn in car mode.”
- Walmart: “Scan my receipt on Walmart.”
- Wink: “Activate home mode on Wink.”
- Zillow: “Show me open houses nearby on Zillow.
Frustratingly, it seems that these ‘Ok Google’ voice commands don’t relate to an automatic usage on Android Wear, with a request to ‘Ok Google Shazam this song’ from my wrist simply giving a search result for Shazam. This is all the more disappointing given that the original Android Wear promo video showed a user asking Google to identify a song.
Google is interested in expanding the list of applications with Ok Google functionality, they’re taking submissions from Android App developers, asking for up to three ‘Ok Google’ commands that could be used with your app.
It’s good to see that Google is curating these commands, taking a slow approach, but it would be good to see a wider availability in the future. But for now, try out the apps above and see how they go.
Which apps would you like to see get ‘Ok Google’ voice commands, and which commands would you like to see?