Google Now is one of the best features of Android. Apple fans can bang the Siri drum all they want, but the fact is that while Siri is more sociable, Google Now provides better voice recognition, faster updates, better results and more features, which is what a personal assistant should excel at. However, for all the good features Google Now has brought us, unfortunately there is still no way for third party apps to plug into it and make their own commands, and there is only rudimentary support for phone actions. Well, today we’ll show you an app that will allow you to turn WiFi and Bluetooth off with voice commands, toggle the flashlight and even control your music with custom voice commands, using Google Now!
Commandr is a relatively recent app that uses a clever trick to get around Google’s third party app restriction, without requiring root or any other sort of direct approach. Instead of you saying the command as usual, you tell Google Now to take a note and then choose Commandr as the app, and it will execute whatever action you tell it to do. This basically means that, disguising itself as a note-taking app, Commandr effectively allows you to do any command it natively supports. Right now, the options are kind of limited, but development is active and new features have already been added, including SMS support, and many more are on the way.
So, first head over to this Play Store link and install the free app. Once installed, you will need to do a short setup process, so let’s begin. Open the app, and you will see the intro screen:
Swipe left, and then swipe left again at the next screen. You will then see this screen:
Insert the command “note to self pause music” in the text area below. This is the sort of command you will have to tell Google Now in order to enable the function. If you have entered the valid command, the text area will turn green, and you will be able to advance:
Right after, the app will ask you to pick a note taking app. Since Commandr overrides the “note to self” command, when you want to take a note you will also have to do it through Commandr. Pick an app and when you do the “note to self, note” command, it will take a note as usual. The app explains it a bit better:
You will then enter the app. The interface is simple, and there are not a lot of settings at this time. The one section you may want to take a look is the “Built-In Commands” section, so tap it and you will be taken to the list of currently supported voice commands:
Of course, you can edit the commands yourself, by tapping over the pencil icon. You can also disable specific commands using the On/Off toggle. And that’s about it for setup. Let’s test it out and see if it works. Open Google Now and say, for example, “Okay Google, note to self: turn on flashlight”. Google Now will ask you to pick an app to pick up the command. Pick Commandr (you can make it the default choice if you like, so you don’t have to do this all the time):
As you see, the flashlight automatically turns on!
You can turn it off using a voice command as well, just say “note to self, turn off flashlight” and it will turn the flashlight off. This may look like a cumbersome way to go about it, but considering that Google is adding global voice activation for Google Now, it means you will be able to do these commands from any app, or even when your phone is locked. Plus, as the app develops, other apps may be able to plug into the app and insert their own commands and support for Commandr. Until Google opens up Google Now for third-party apps, this really is the next best thing, and it becomes more intuitive with time. Any questions? Feel free to let us know in the comment section below!