OK Google hotword detection goes system-wide in Search update
Google’s “OK Google” hotword detection makes using Search a breeze, giving you a hands-free way to initiate things. Its biggest limitation, though, has been just how narrow the scope of where you can use it really is: only from the home screen or within the Search app itself. Two months back (to the day, in fact) we first heard the rumors that “OK Google Everywhere” would be coming to Search in the future, expanding that hotword detection to work from within pretty much any app on your phone. Today, amidst all the I/O goings-on, a new Search update has begun rolling out that delivers just that feature.
Once you update to Google Search 3.5.14, you’ll have the ability to keep your phone listening for that “OK Google” hotword on a system-wide basis, no longer constrained to the limited set of circumstances under which it was previously available.
That alone is a big enough feature to warrant an update, but that’s not all that Google’s delivering in this new release. You’ll also find the arrival of an Audio History, which the app uses to better learn your voice and more accurately respond to your queries in the future. Realizing this has the potential to be a touchy subject, as it captures user speech, Google’s implementing some strong privacy controls. You’re able to review your own Audio History, delete individual searches, or simply disable the feature altogether.