With Cortana, Microsoft has shaken up the dominance of Siri and Google Now in the digital assistant space. In what could be a response to Cortana, Google is said to be working on overhauling Google Now and making it deeply integrated into the Android operating system.
According to Android Police, Google is making its digital assistant more powerful and omnipresent in the operating system. Called, “OK Google Everywhere”, this feature will allow users to control an app using voice commands. You will need to utter the above words to bring up a list of things Google can do while browsing through photos, checking email or performing a variety of other tasks. Your Android device, much like the Moto X, will always be listening to your voice for the command. Android Police explains how OK Google Everywhere is likely to work:
From an implementation perspective, our information indicates that Google plans to create and deploy new actions using a modular structure. To get an idea of what this means, think about telling Google to send an email. Google needs to know who you’re sending it to, what the body should contain, and what the subject is. Each of those parameters would be a module that could be unplugged and put into other actions. These pieces of code would evidently be able to snap together (metaphorically) to create new actions on Google’s side. Whether anyone besides Google would be able to create such actions is unclear.
In addition to Google Everywhere, the company is also looking at an overhauled set of navigation buttons. You will now have a ‘recent’ button which will fire up the multi-tasking window and is likely to be the only way to go back to the homepage and a Google button or a ‘g’ logo to easily access the voice functionalities. The publication notes that these changes will only be limited to the Nexus devices and the Google Play Editions.
It isn’t clear when we are likely to see these changes implemented, but don’t be surprised if we get at least a glimpse at the Google I/O later this year.