Google's I/O event always brings with it lots of new Android goodies. You may have noticed that you're getting updates for many Google apps recently. The newest update, rolling out gradually through the Play Store, is a new version of Google Search. This new version 3.5.14, brings 'OK Google' detection to any screen,
in any app!
This capability was first introduced on the Moto X and eventually added to the Google Experience Launcher (GEL) on Nexus devices. However, with GEL you can only use 'OK Google' while on a home screen. With this new update, you can say "OK Google" no matter what you're doing on your phone. You can even use hotword detection with the screen off
, provided that your phone is plugged in and charging.
You can enable hotword detection from within Google Now>Settings>Voice>'OK Google Detection'. After this, you will have to give a sample of your voice with Audio History
. Audio history is used to learn your voice, and your specific pronunciation of words, to improve voice command accuracy and to avoid random searches activated by other people's voices.
For now the update is rolling out to devices using KitKat in the US, and only for the English language. However, thanks to Android Police, you can download and install
the apk manually. Just remember to enable 'Unknown sources' in the security settings.