google-now

Google Now Will Soon Be Able To Give You Information From Within Third Party Apps

October 29, 2014 - Written By Phil Bourget

Ok Google, read me this news tidbit.  That won’t work, sorry for the fooling.  But, what if you could have Google Now do things for you?  It already offers up as much information as we ask for, as well as doing some quick and simple web searches, but what comes next?  What could the next step be?  Android Developers’ official blog has shared with everyone the next improvement in Search.  Search within any app.

Wait, wasn’t that a feature that we saw sneak out to the public right after Google I/O?  Yes, it was.  You could say the signature phrase “Ok Google”, followed by your query, from within any app to do your search.  But, that’s not what we’re talking about now.  What the next step for Search means is that you can ask for specific searches that utilize a specific app to search and offer results.  Let’s get that straight with an example. So, say you’re going about your time-wasting ways playing Angry Birds, or whatever game you choose to play, and think ‘Huh, I wonder which restaurant has reservations open for tonight’s anniversary’.  So you pause your game, and say “Ok Google, search for reservations tonight in OpenTable”.  Google Now would take your request, process it, and do the following.  Look in the OpenTable app for reservations nearby for any time that night.  Search itself can now look within other apps for information to relay to you.

All it takes is a simple set of code being added into the app’s existing code.  The code needs to be added into the AndroidManifest.xml for the app, and it is: <activity android:name=”.SearchableActivity”>, <intent-filter>, <action android:name=”com.google.android.gms.actions.SEARCH_ACTION”/>, <category android:name=”android.intent.category.DEFAULT”/>, </intent-filter>, </activity> And then the app is accessible to Google Now through the, if you noticed in the code, ‘Android GMS’ or Google Play Services.  There may or may not need to be an update soon, but the fact that this is now something that can be added to apps, you can now make queries of your entire device.

The ‘Ok Google Everywhere’ feature, which allows voice searching with the hotword from anywhere on the phone, is supposedly available on Android devices running Jelly Bean (version is not specified, so it could be anywhere between 4.1 and 4.3.1) or will be in the future.  This feature will add a lot of value to the Android ecosystem, especially since Siri on the iPhone has been able to look into and use certain apps to accomplish certain tasks and commands. Are you looking forward to more Android app developers incorporating this new feature and bit of code into their apps so they can help your device run better and more conveniently?  Which app do you want to get this feature soonest?  Found any apps that this feature works with yet?  Let us know down below.