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Google making it easy for 3rd party apps to integrate ‘Ok Google’ search

Google has announced it is bringing an easy way for app developers to add ''Ok Google' search integration.

Published onOctober 29, 2014


It’s been over two years now since Google Now was first introduced with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and in that time we’ve seen it and the entire Google voice search experience improve dramatically. But what about extending voice search and the “Ok, Google” command into the realm of third party apps? Today Google announced on its developer’s blog that it is making it easy for developers to add “Ok, Google” support to their apps.

As Google says in its blog post, that means users will soon be able to bring up the “Ok, Google” Command and say things like “Ok Google, search for hotels in Maui on TripAdvisor” or “Ok Google, search pizza on Eat24”. The only catch is that your favorite app developers first need to insert a few lines of code into their apps to make the magic happen.

When Google says a few lines of code, they mean it. Reportedly all developers need to do is add the following code to their AndroidManifest.xml:

<activity android:name=”.SearchableActivity”>
<action android:name=””/>
<category android:name=”android.intent.category.DEFAULT”/>

We can certainly see how this could make searching for things a heck of a lot easier, provided enough app makers embrace it. Considering how easy Google is making things, I don’t know why they wouldn’t.

As for what devices will support this functionality? All a user will need is an Android device with Jelly Bean or higher and with Google app v3.5 or higher. Google also mentions end users will be able to enable “Ok, Google” hot-word detection “from any screen, which offers them the fastest route between their search command and your app!”

What do you think of this upcoming 3rd party “Ok, Google” feature, potentially useful? Do you think many app developers will make use of it?

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