You’ll soon be able to call upon Google Now using your voice from anywhere on your smartphone, even the lock screen.
The list of things you can say “OK Google” to is set to increase by one. Google has announced that in addition to the Google Now application and it’s latest range of Android Wear powered smartwatches, you can now trigger the popular, voice-powered search engine from anywhere on your Android device, including the lock screen.
This functionality had previously been reserved for the Moto X smartphone, which packed an always-on voice recognition chip and allowed you to access Google Now from anywhere. It will now be available to a selection of devices running the latest build of the Google Search application; version 3.5.14. The rollout of the updated Google Now app will take place in the next few days.
Finding out if your device is capable of running the latest update is simple. Just navigate to your Google Now settings, head into ‘Voice’ and look for a check-box saying “OK Google hotword detection”.
Rather than the previous single toggle that let you switch the voice command on or off outright, now you’ll see three options with a check-box beside each. Choose whether you want Google Now to respond to your voice explicitly within the app, anywhere on the phone’s interface or even on the lock screen.
Google has been eagerly pushing and extending Google Now, and is currently running a series of adverts on YouTube promoting it. If – as happened to Xbox One owners – this causes devices to make unwanted search queries remains to be seen. It also remains to be seen what impact this update will have on device battery life.
Image credit: DroidLife