In addition to its slew of announcements at I/O earlier today, Google this evening rolled out a major update its Search app on Android. Bumping the app to version 3.5.14, the update adds several new features, but the biggest is the ability to activate a voice search from anywhere within the operating system. This feature was initially reported on back in April, but is only now making its way to the app.
To enable this feature, you have to go into Google Now, scroll to the bottom, tap Menu and navigate to Settings, then Voice, then toggle the “Ok Google” Detection setting. After doing this, you can prompt a voice search from anywhere in Android by simply saying “Ok Google” followed by a command. The feature works anywhere in the O.S., including from the lock screen. This feature is similar to what Motorola has done with its recent Moto X device and Droid line.
In addition to the new hotword feature, this update also adds a new feature called Audio History. Google says that it will now use your previous voice searches to create a history that in turn will make all of your voice commands and searches more accurate. The company says it will learn voice, learn how you phrase things, and learn how you pronounce words, in addition to much more.
The update itself is available on the Play Store now, although it appears to be a staged rollout, meaning that it may take a few days to hit your device. From there, the hotword feature appears to be rolling out on an account-by-account basis, so even if you have the latest Google Search APK, you still might not have the hotword detection feature.
(via Droid Life)