New Google Assistant settings, ‘Ok Google' driving commands found in Google app beta code

More hands-free commands may be coming to Google maps and Android Auto, which should help keep your eyes where they belong.

Google’s app factory is going into overdrive, readying several new features that empower Google Now and the company’s upcoming digital assistant.

The new features are hinted at in the code of the latest beta version of the Google app, which now powers all of the company’s search and artificial intelligence services on Android.

Why this matters: According to a teardown by Android Police, we’re learning more about how deeply Google services will interact with Android. From the Google assistant to more voice commands, your phone is about to get far more proactive and predictive at serving as your aide. These features will be necessary for features like Android Auto on your phone and the assistant features of Google Allo.

The Google Assistant

While a few hints of the Google Assistant showed up in a previous build, there’s a lot more to be found in version 6.2 of the Google app beta (coming to the Play Store or now on APK Mirror). The teardown found the following drop-down options in the code for settings, which of course may expand as the final build approaches:

  • Changes you make here show up across your Google Assistant experience
    • Account
    • Activity
    • About me
  • Here are things your assistant can do on
    • [a dropdown list of device types]
    • Music
    • News
    • Daily Brief
    • Google Assistant
    • Connected Home
    • Google Cast
    • Shopping list
    • Services
  • Personal Voice Actions
    • Voice shortcut

It looks like a combination of ways you can tweak the type of information that you get and can search for. The Personal Voice Actions seems like it could have more down the road, with shortcuts for different commands.

’Ok Google’ commands

There are plans to fire up driving notifications in Maps using a simple voice command. Such functionality would also extend to Android Auto, part of Google’s plan to rule the car dashboard and keep you focused on driving. Android Auto is coming to phones this year, so you can use it even if you car's in-dash system doesn't support it.

ok google voice Android Police

Look for a Driving notifications setting to make its way into the Google maps.

You should see this option when the beta app updates, and it might be worth trying on your next road trip to see what pops up.

Devices, rooms, and groups

Finally, additional code strings show the underlying groundwork for how the Google Assistant will work with the smart home. The idea is you could tell your phone to cast a particular TV show to the living room TV so it doesn’t end up in the den. Making this work seamlessly requires a considerable effort, hence the early work uncovered here. All of this also shows how inter-tangled Google’s ecosystem is, with much of the voice capabilities coming soon to your phone as well as Google Home, the Alexa competitor to come later this year.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GoogleGoogle NowAndroid Nougat

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Derek Walter

Unknown Publication
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?