Google Now might soon talk back to you

Google Now
And we want them Now

Google's all-knowing digital assistant could soon be getting voice notifications and third-party app support, according to some of the unused code snippets buried in the latest updates for Android and iOS.

Android Police has produced a full teardown of the most recent update and found some interesting hidden gems. It looks like better integration between Chrome and Android is on the way too.

The voice notifications feature isn't a huge shock - Google loves its voice input and output - but in this case you'd be able to get alerts automatically read out as they arrive (useful when you're driving perhaps).

Open the floodgates

Third-party app support is an interesting one too: the latest code includes a '3rd-Party Welcome' feature and a range of new icons covering health, music, eating and more. Will Facebook notifications and Spotify recommendations soon be popping up in Google Now?

It seems likely that Google would only open up its innovative personal assistant app to a select number of partners, at least at first, but it would certainly add to the tool's usefulness.

As Android Police is keen to point out, there's no guarantee that any of these features will make the leap from hidden code snippet to the front of the app, but it's interesting to see what the tech giant is experimenting with and how Google Now might evolve in the run-up to this year's I/O conference.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.