Third-Party Android Apps Will Soon Use ‘OK, Google’ for In-App Searches

The search giant doesn’t only want to expand Google Now functionality to its other apps, now it also wants other developers to be able to include in-app search based on the ‘OK, Google’ phrase.

With mobile devices, it’s much easier to do a voice search instead of typing all the details of your query. By enabling app developers to include their voice search in their Android apps, Google does not act like an uninvited guest at a party, but it actually makes the other apps easier to use.

According to a post written by Jarek Wilkiewicz, Developer Advocate, Google Search, on the Android Developers Blog, the changes that need to be made are minimal: “How many lines of code will it take to let your users say Ok Google, and search for something in your app? Hardly any. Starting today, all you need is a small addition to your AndroidManifest.xml in order to connect the Google Now SEARCH_ACTION with your searchable activity.”

Basically, the entire code that needs to be added to that file is this:

There is a great number of ways the new in-app search could make our lives easier, and Google provided a couple of examples: “At Google, we always look for innovative ways to help you improve mobile search and drive user engagement back to your app. For example, users can now say to the Google app: ‘Ok Google, search pizza on Eat24’ or ‘Ok Google, search for hotels in Maui on TripAdvisor.'”

That’s right, ‘OK, Google’ will be available for in-app searches, but Android users will also be able to search within an app using Google Now, without having to launch the third-party app. I would say that this makes the whole experience even smoother.

Wilkiewicz also explained that there are some “system requirements,” in order for the ‘OK, Google’ in-app search to work on your Android smartphone or tablet: “This feature is available on English locale Android devices running Jelly Bean and above with the Google app v3.5 or greater. Last but not least, users can enable the Ok Google hot-word detection from any screen, which offers them the fastest route between their search command and your app!”

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