Google continues to quietly improve Google Now and the latest change is one that users of 3rd party messaging services will appreciate. Google has now added voice support for 3rd party messaging applications like WhatsApp and Viber, meaning you can send a message with these services without actually ever touching your Android phone or tablet. You have been able to do this with Hangouts for a while with Google Now but adding support for 3rd party solutions really shows how mature this feature has become in Android.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when you are using the 3rd party voice integration for messaging apps and while these seem painfully obvious, I’ll point them out nevertheless. First, you actually have to have the 3rd party messaging app installed & configured. In other words, you can’t send a WhatsApp message if you don’t have WhatsApp installed, configured and have an account.
Shocking, I know.
Second, you have to have an internet connection for Google Now to work which again, seems painfully obvious but hey, I’m here to help.
Assuming these two things are sorted on your Android phone or tablet, to send a message using the voice integration in Google Now, all you need to do is say something along the lines of “Okay Google, send a WhatsApp message to Clinton – Are you available to meet me before the meeting?” Google Now will then on the back end send your message via that service to the recipient.
Right now the service only works in English (American and British) but Google indicates that other languages are in the pipeline for release later. When exactly is not clear. Also, the service works with the following 3rd party messaging apps:
Give it a try and see what you think.
If you are not sure how to get Google Now on your device, it is built into the Google Now Launcher for Android which is what I use on all my Android devices.