Hidden code hints at new Google Now features

hidden code hints new google now features
Hidden code embedded in Google Now suggests the app could soon be welcoming third-party services into the fold as well as providing voice notifications on the go. If you’re a fan of the digital assistant built into Android and the Google Search app on iOS, then it looks like you’ve got plenty of new features to look forward to in 2015.

The potential upgrades were discovered thanks to some careful digging from the team at Android Police. A new ‘3rd Party Welcome’ section, together with icons covering topics such as health, eating and music, suggests that Google Now is going to eventually feature some select partners alongside the official Google apps. Still, it’s early days, and Android Police warns users not to expect too much too soon.

The voice notification features look more likely to be introduced in the near future. Voice input and output already plays a key role in the Android platform and Google’s apps, but the new framework would allow notifications to be read aloud as they arrive, no interaction required (when driving for example). Again, this might be just an experimental move on the part of Google, but it shows which way its engineers are thinking.

A new set of icons suggest that voice-activated sharing to social networks could be on the cards, while there are also signs of closer integration between Chrome and Android in the pipeline. Android Police also spotted some extra code related to desktop-to-phone sharing, but this potential feature has already been in the Google Search/Google Now app for some time.

Google Now remains an essential part of Google’s strategy — which is why it’s available on iOS as well as Android — and with Siri and Cortana nipping at its heels, the Mountain View company will be keen to keep pushing development forward as quickly as possible. This year’s Google I/O conference would be a good bet for hearing some official announcements, but there’s a few months to wait yet.

Mobile

You can now listen to Google Podcasts on your desktop without the app

The Google Podcasts app is no longer entirely necessary to listen to the podcasts it offers. With a simple tweak of the sharing URL, you can listen to a Google Podcasts podcast on your desktop or laptop without the app.
Mobile

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.
Computing

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.
Mobile

These voice-changing apps will have you punking friends and family like a pro

Have you ever wanted to call your friends as Darth Vader or Alvin from the Chipmunks? If you want to play a prank on your friends, we have the best voice-changer apps for iOS and Android, whether you want to record audio or make a call.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Mobile

Wring the most out of iOS with the best commands for Siri

You may not know all the things you can say to Siri -- after all, Apple never released an official list of commands for its virtual assistant. Thankfully, we've compiled a list of the best Siri commands to help you out.
Product Review

The new iPad Mini isn’t a beauty, but it performs like a beast

Apple’s new iPad Mini has beastly performance, fluid iOS 12 software, and good battery life. It also looks like it came straight out of 2015, because the design hasn’t been changed. Here's our review of Apple’s 7.9-inch tablet.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Mobile

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.
Wearables

Alpina makes its AlpinerX smartwatch even more attractive with new colors

Alpina has introduced four new colors to its AlpinerX smartwatch range, breaking the usually sporty watch out into a more everyday casual design, and given the tech a slight makeover too.
Mobile

New gold finish makes Frederique Constant’s hybrid smartwatch flashier than ever

Frederique Constant has found considerable success with its luxury hybrid smartwatch, the Hybrid Manufacture, and has launched several new color schemes to help bring it even more attention.
Wearables

Tag Heuer’s Golf Edition smartwatch is a lot more than just a flash of new color

Tag Heuer's Golf Edition Connected Modular 45 smartwatch has a lot more going for it than just a flashy new color scheme. From the titanium body and black PVD coating to the new Golf app, this is a true special edition.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Mobile

Firefox Send file-sharing service is now an Android app

Mozilla has just launched Firefox Send as an Android app. The free service lets you share files of up 2.5GB via a web link that expires after a certain period of time or number of downloads.