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Monday, August 18, 2014

Commandr: Control Hardware Switches Using Google Now’s Voice Recognition API [Android]

The “OK Google” hot-word detection is purportedly the best bit about Android. Introduced with Moto X, it is useful enough to quickly open Google Now and perform specific actions like check weather, set an alarm etc. However, the feature hasn’t been able to do much with the actual hardware of supported devices. That being said, Google Now essentially lets you interact with Google related services, but if you want to toggle a few device specific features like the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth without touching your phone, you’re pretty much out of luck. Commandr is a new Android application that aims to fill this gap. The app uses Google Now’s powerful voice recognition API to let you flip hardware switches. You can even add custom commands via Tasker and make them work in Commandr...

Commandr supports a simple design, and mostly runs in background to do its job. The app can toggle your phone or tablet’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or GPS connectivity, turn the LED flashlight on or off, as well as pause or skip music tracks via Google Now voice commands. After launching the app, it walks you through a simple tutorial, which introduces its core functionality.
To use Commandr, you start by saying “Note to Self’ after launching Google Now followed by speaking the command for the action that you need to perform. For example, if you want to turn on the Bluetooth, you can simply say “Note to Self Turn On Bluetooth”, within a few seconds, Commandr will analyze the command and perform the pertaining action.
Commandr Commandr Test Commandr Note app
Commandr can be be used to quickly jot down notes. This essentially cuts a few steps out of your way when you need to write down something in a hurry. The app works well with most note taking applications like Keep or Evernote etc., and lets you choose your default note taking application upon launch. Users can also activate or deactivate Commandr anytime from its home screen.
As of this writing, the default commands are pretty limited, and there are many little steps involved that make using a widget a better option for most of the actions. For instance, you first need to say, “OK Google,” then your “Note to self” command, then the hardware command, and then wait for Google’s voice server to interpret your recorded voice. All these steps would definitely take a lot of time.
Commandr Main Commandr commands
On the bright side, the app works well with Tasker. And will probably integrate with more apps in future. The app is free at Google Play and works on Android 4.1 or higher.


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