Google could be working on a new search interface that would let you use your phone more easily without having to touch it, according to Android Police.
The feature would be ideal for situations like driving, and would be able to read notifications aloud so that you wouldn’t have to reach for your phone.
Rumours about this hands-free feature initially surfaced in June, but now Android Police appears to have found more evidence that Google could be testing the functionality.
When you perform a search for the term “hands free” in the Google Now search bar on your phone, Google pulls up a card that says “Starting hands-free,” although nothing actually happens.
Android Police first spotted this, and I saw the same results after typing “hands-free” in the search bar on my Galaxy S5, which is running Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
This follows another clue from last week, when a promotional GIF from Google clearly showed that a new hands-free mode is coming soon.
Google posted a GIF to Google+ showing how quickly its translation technology works, and an icon with a steering wheel that seems to be labelled Google Hands-Free was clearly visible in the background, as shown in the screenshot to the right.
If Android Police’s reports turn out to be legitimate, this hands free mode will strip down your phone’s standard interface and replace it with a blank screen with large icons.
Presumably, you’d be able to glance down at these large icons without really having to tear your gaze away from whatever you’re doing. Users may also be able to simply say, “OK Google” to perform a search without having to first tap the microphone on the search bar like you would in standard mode.
This might even work while the phone’s display is turned off, but the phone may need to be plugged in for this to work, according to Android Police.
In other words, it sound like the always-on Touchless Voice Controls that were introduced in the Moto X could be rolling out on a more widespread scale under a new Google app called Google Hands-Free.
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