Google’s voice assistant ‘Google Now’ can already do a lot of interesting stuff from performing searches to activating and deactivating services like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and more. The latest update for the Google Now brings the ability to read text messages aloud among other improvements. The feature was first spotted by a user on Reddit.
When you say ‘OK Google, show me my last messages,’ the search result will display the last five text messages that you’ve received. After displaying the results, it will ask whether you want to ‘hear it,’ just say ‘yes’ and it will read out the last message aloud.
Google Now will then ask you whether you want to reply, repeat it, next one or skip it. On saying repeat it, Google Now will repeat the text message for you. If you say reply, it will ask what you want to reply where you’ll need to say it aloud. It will then confirm and send the reply to the recipient.
The feature can be handy at times when you’re driving or occupied with work when you don’t want to fiddle with the screen to find the SMS app, look for the text messages and type out the reply. This feature works with any default SMS app that you use on your Android smartphone.
On saying ‘show me my last emails,’ Google Now will display last five emails from the Gmail app. But, the readout and reply feature is only limited to text messages.
We tried using the feature and it worked pretty well, except for a couple of times when ‘hear it’ was detected as ‘shareit.’ It sends easier replies effortlessly, but when it comes to complex and lengthy replies, the recognition doesn’t work as you would expect it to be. It can also be the issue with the accent. Nevertheless, it’s good to see such features making way to smartphones. On the recognition part, it could get better with time.