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Add commands to Google Now with Commandr

Expand Google Now’s usability by enabling and creating a range of new commands.

Screen shot 2014-09-02 at 10.25.07

Google Now has become a prominent feature for most Android users. It provides an easy platform to stay involved with everything that’s going on in the world and perform searches for things you enjoy as well. One criticism is that it still doesn’t offer enough command options for users to explore, but the new Commandr app changes that entirely. Commandr has been specifically built to vastly expand Google Now’s database and explore other ways that the Google Now system can be implemented into different areas of your smartphone.

The app itself includes a large number of commands created by the Commandr team for users to check out and edit if they see fit. But its best feature is being able to create and vote on user created commands, which will get added to the library if they get enough votes. In this tutorial we’ll be guiding you through the process of editing and implementing new Google Now commands, as well as showing you how you can create your own.

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For more expert tutorials, make sure you pick up the latest issue of Android Magazine.

  1. step1

    Enable location access

    Go into your Settings menu and scroll down the list until you reach the Location menu. For Commandr to initially work, it’ll need access to your location so that any commands using your device’s GPS will work when you activate it. Open the Commandr app once completed.

  2. step2

    Select Commandr

    When you first open up the Commandr app, it’ll tell you to go to the Accessibility section on your device and enable Commandr to have access to it. There’s a quick link to the section at the bottom of the app where you can toggle access for the Commandr app.

  3. step3

    Explore the app

    There are several options to explore on the Commandr app’s homescreen. At the top you’ll find the menu and tutorial icon, as well as several different options listed down the screen. We want to take a look at some of the new commands on offer, so press on the Built-In Commands option.

  4. step4

    Select commands

    All of the commands listed here are split into two parts. At the top you’ll find what each toggle does and at the bottom you’ll see what you need to say to activate them. You can toggle each of them using the On/Off switch on the right-hand side.

  5. step5

    What to say?

    One of the best features of the Commandr app is being able to edit any of these pre-loaded commands. By pressing one of them, a separate menu will appear asking you to choose what you have to say to activate it. From our experience, it’s best to keep it short.

  6. step6

    Vote for commands

    Once you’ve chosen all the new commands you want to add, select the Vote for New Commands option at the bottom of the page. Here you can see all of the commands that have been created by users. With enough votes, each one will be added to the main command list.

  7. step7

    Suggest new command

    If you can’t find a command you really want to use, then press the + button at the top of the app to create your own. A new menu will appear, and all you need to do is to add a name for it and what you have to say to activate it. Press Submit to add it to the voting list.

  8. step8

    Open Google Now

    Not every command you’ve created will go through Google Now, but the vast majority will. After you’ve used certain commands for a while, you’ll start seeing appropriate cards appearing in Google Now for you to explore and edit to how you see fit. Swipe any cards you don’t like.

  9. step9

    Test your commands

    The only thing left to do is to test the commands you’ve used. Simply hold the phone close to your face and say the words exactly and the action should be performed. We’ve found the best use is to have a quick way of switching between songs without using our hands.

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