Google Launches Custom Voice Actions For Third Party Apps

Google is further expanding Voice Actions to third party apps to allow users to reach into apps on Android devices, beyond simply launching them. That’s according to a post this week directed to Android developers.

In some cases this appears to enable a version of in-app search:

Today, we launched our first set of partners for custom Google voice actions on Android. This feature will enable people to say things like “Ok Google, listen to NPR” or “Ok Google, show attractions near me on TripAdvisor.” We’re currently piloting custom voice actions with a select group of partners, but we plan to open it up more widely in the future — and we’d love to hear your ideas for actions you’d like to implement.

This development was rumored roughly a year ago. We wrote about it at the time. And it comes just as Microsoft is expanding Cortana integration of third party apps.

The site Android Police dubbed the Google initiative, “OK Google Everywhere.” In parallel, Google has further expanded the range of developers and app publishers participating in Google Now, recently adding 70 new apps.

Rather than “mobile friendly” conventional search results, it’s Google Now and Voice Actions that represent the future of search for Google on mobile devices. These user experiences are much more functional and better adapted for smartphones and their usage contexts.

Monetization of these user experiences is a different issue however.

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