Over the past few weeks we’ve seen rumor after rumor regarding new features for Android, as well as interface tweaks. And with Google I/O 2014 right around the corner, we don’t expect them to slow down at all. Android Police this evening published a new report detailing some more design changes coming to Android, as well as a new big feature.
The biggest new feature supposedly coming to Android will be the ability to say “Ok, Google” anywhere in Android. Right now, the voice command only works when you’re on the home screen. There is also a focus, reportedly, on adding specialized voice actions for individual apps. For instance, if you said “Ok, Google” while in the Photos app, a voice box would open with the ability to perform actions specific to the Photos app, such as sharing the image.
To go alongside this feature, Google is also reportedly exploring the idea of new navigation buttons, including a “Google” button that would replace the current home button, integrated with the “Hera” feature we saw leak earlier this year. Though, this interface will supposedly be limited to Google Play Edition and Nexus devices.
Google is also reportedly experimenting with the ability to make the “Ok, Google” command more aware of what you’re doing on your device when you say it.
We also have reason to believe that, in some apps, Google is experimenting with functionality that would enable the “Ok Google” prompt to provide suggested actions instead of simply listening. For example, if you were having a conversation with someone in Gmail, the prompt may suggest replying to that person, or performing actions related to the message chain like finding a movie, looking up the hours of a restaurant mentioned in the conversation, etc.
Android Police gives this rumor an 8/10 for credibility, citing the sheer size of this project as a reason something may change or get scrapped before a launch to the public.