In our recent article on using Google Now voice commands
, we saw how powerful Google Now's voice processing can be. There is one area, though, in which Google's voice commands fall a little short. That area is controlling the phone itself. The only built-in commands related to controlling the phone are to run an app ("OK Google, Open [app name]") and to take a photo ("OK Google, Take a Picture"). Not bad, but it seems to many of us that Google Now could do so much more.
As it turns out, it can. With a little help from our friends. Thanks to Android developer Ryan Senanayake, and graphic designer Adriano Loiacono, we can now install an app significantly enhances Google Now.
With this app, Commandr for Google Now
, you can use Google Now to control your flashlight, toggle settings, control music playback, turn your radios on and off, and more. The thing you can do, using this app, with voice commands includes:
- Turn On/Off Wifi
- Turn On/Off Bluetooth
- Turn On/Off GPS (for some phones)
- Turn On/Off Cellular Data
- Pause Music
- Resume Music
- Next Song
- Previous Song
- Read Aloud Unread SMS
- Play Google Play Music playlist
- Chatbot to make Google Now one step closer to Siri
- Read Unread Gmail
- Raise/Lower Volume
- Set Volume to percentage
- Unlock/Lock Phone
- Take a Picture (counts down from 3 before taking)
- Take a Selfie (counts down from 3 before taking)
All of the above can be accomplished on any device running Android 4.1 or higher. Unlike many system tweaks, Commandr does not require root. If your phone is rooted, though, you can also control the power options, including shutting the phone off, rebooting the phone, and booting into recovery.
Commandr can also integrate with the Tasker
Automation / Profile manager app. If you run Tasker, you can use Commandr for Google Now to execute any and all Tasker commands by voice. Tasker is, arguably, the most powerful way to automate and control and Android device available, and you can now control that power by speaking to your phone.
Ryan is constantly enhancing the app, adding new voice control features. Items currently under consideration include the following. If you use the app, you can vote for the enhancements you'd like to see.
- Toggle Silent Ringer
- Send Whatsapp Message
- Toggle Rotation Lock
- Read Last Text from Contact
- Toggle WiFi Hotspot
- Toggle Car mode
- Clear all notifications
- Toggle NFC
Voice control isn't for everyone, but if you use it, or think you'd like to use it, give Commandr a try. You can download it directly from the Google Play Store
. Learn more about it at the Voice Commandr website