Google Now is still one of the crown jewels on Android, and one of the areas where it’s fair to say that it’s ahead of the game. The personal assistant grew from a mere curiosity that could tell you the weather, to a full-fledged framework that shows you relevant searches, reminds you of upcoming events, and feeds you scores and stocks information. Because of the popularity of the app, and the way it’s integrated into Android, a lot of app developers have been asking for a way to integrate their apps with the service. Well, that day has come, and now Google officially supports third-party custom voice commands on Google Now.
“Okay Google, make me a sandwich” is something that may still be a few years away, but the fact is that Google Now has been getting smarter, faster and more well-rounded as time goes on. From a handful of voice commands at the beginning, now it gives you a personalized search and results card for almost any regular voice search you make. It’s kind of amazing to see Google Now getting better with each update, almost invisibly, and so it comes as no surprise that other developers want to get in on the action. In order to make that possible, Google is now opening the gates for third-party apps to integrate their features into the app and be given dedicated voice commands and cards.
The list of approved apps is still small, but with any luck, it will be growing very soon. The apps seem required to go through an approval process from Google before they can have their commands on the platform, but for the initial wave of supported apps, things aren’t looking too bad already. Here’s the full list of supported apps and their dedicated voice commands at this point:
Flixster: “Show me Inception on Flixster.”
Instacart: “Show Instacart availability.”
Lincoln: “Start my Lincoln MKZ.”
NPR One: “Listen to NPR.”
Realtor.com: “Show rentals near me on Realtor.”
Shazam: “Shazam this song.”
TripAdvisor: “Show attractions near me on TripAdvisor.”
Trulia: “Show homes for sale in Boston on Trulia.”
TuneIn Radio: “Open TuneIn in car mode.”
Walmart: “Scan my receipt on Walmart.”
Wink: “Activate home mode on Wink.”
Zillow: “Show me open houses nearby on Zillow.”
You can check out the list for yourself by clicking this link, which takes you to the support page for Google Now. As you can see, some popular apps made it in, and the voice commands seem pretty simple and intuitive. Of course, it’s a little cumbersome to have to say the name of the app itself, but it’s a pretty obvious way to tackle the problem and it helps with the accuracy of the command itself. I expect that as more and more apps are added, that list will be regularly updated and will keep growing. Google Now is an amazing service, and developers are certainly looking forward to taking advantage of Google’s amazing voice recognition and “Okay Google” integration in most Android devices.