Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) may be planning to open up its Google Now voice assistant to third party apps if indicators from the service’s code are any indication.
According to an investigation by Android Police, unused and formerly undiscovered code for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s voice assistance application point to the internet giant having plans for other applications to utilize Google Now.
“Version 4.1 also contains a fairly simple layout named third_party_welcome. The header image for this view presents a set of five cards, each with a distinct color and unique iconography,” the publication notes.
The discovery was made when the publication analyzed Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s application package file (APK) for Google Search v4.1.
Nonetheless, Android Police cautions people to not expect third-party applications using Google Now too soon as they say the search giant seems to be in no rush to open up this service to non-Google developers. They also note that the application may be first opened to a select few partner developers before being made available to the broader mass of developers for Android and eventually other mobile operating systems.
Still, the appearance of this code in the APK for Google Search points to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) having such plans. We just don’t know when it will become reality but the possibility is there.
Aside from the hidden code for third-party app integration of Google Now, the publication also unearthed other features including spoken notifications, search on lock screen, quick toggle, voice-activated social sharing, send text from computer, and Project Hera.
Spoken notifications is just as the name suggests. Notifications will be vocalized by Google Now. Search on lock screen allows users to utilize Google Now to do searches even if their devices are technically in a locked state. Quick toggles are a set of icons a user can press to say for example activate and deactivate Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or the camera’s flash for a flashlight.
Voice-activated social sharing, the publication notes, will allow sharing via social networks (not just Google+) using only voice prompts. Send text from computer is a feature that allows users to essentially copy text from a computer, send it to their phones and have it live as a notification on the phones until they are copied to the phone’s clipboard.
Project Hera, on the other hand, is a little vague at the moment. Android Police says that the search giant initially said that it “would close the gap between Android and the web”. Project Hera, basing on the code from the analyzed APK, features better integration between Android and Chrome.
Stanley Druckenmiller’s Duquesne Capital held 166,180 Class A shares of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) by the end of September 2014. The firm sold all its Class C stock in the internet giant during the third quarter of 2014.