Android 4.4 may bring always-listening Google Now


The first ever phone to feature an always-listening touchless Google Now feature was the Google-owned Motorola- the Moto X. It was about time Google played an exciting role and gain the attention of tech freaks. It has been rumored that Google has planned to push this feature along the Android 4.4 KitKat update.


The Moto X features the specialized X8 chipset with the voice companion core and that might be the reason as to why the alway-listening Google Now feature doesn’t drain out all the battery, but there may be a solution for that problem on some other devices. The X8 chipset is a modified Snapdragon S4 Pro with a stronger GPU and two companion cores by Qualcomm. Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 800 has Voice Activation built-in in the chipset. Logically, this means that any Snapdragon 800 device will be able to gear an ultra-low power mode to handle the always-listening voice commands. But, we are still not sure if this feature will be compatible with all the Android 4.4 devices.

As the functionality is already supported by the Snapdragon 800, it might be possible that Google pushes out an update the Play Store to add the functionality to any device with that chipset running Android 4.1 or higher. It may not happen now, but it may be possible a little while after the Android 4.4 update. However, it still is an assumption.

There has been evidence found both in the Google Search APK  and with the guys at TuttoAndroid. They reported that the “OK Google Now” command did work from the homescreen in their testing of Android 4.4 (although they didn’t say if it worked when the device was in sleep mode.

As the rumors suggest, the announcement of the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 coulb be made any day now, so we should be seeing the real picture of the story very soon.

Usama M, a software engineer by profession, is the founder and editor-in-chief at Techbeasts. At Techbeasts, he uses his expertise to craft solutions to solve everyday consumer tech problems. His main areas of interest are Android, iOS, and Windows. You can find him on YouTube at "Tech with Usama".

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