OmniROM may yet have another unique feature under its belt. With an upcoming custom hotwords feature, users can set any phrase they want to start almost any app right from the homescreen using just their voice.
“OK Google” has become an iconic phrase that is used to launch Google Now, technically Google Search, as a gateway to other Android functionality, pretty much like a voice-controlled homescreen or app launcher. Taking this feature to the extreme, OmniROM developer Guillame Lesniak, also known as XplodWild in some circles, is introducing a new feature that breaks away from the limitation of the phrase as well as the limitation of the app.
While one can still use that now traditional phrase to start Google Now, users can also set up others to launch, say, a browser, a camera, or any other app. In fact, users aren’t just limited to apps. Judging from the teaser video, which you can see in full below, users can associate any phrase with anything that falls under Android’s “shortcuts” feature, meaning you can launch bookmarks, contacts, and more. And like in the Google Now Launcher, you don’t have to press any button, as custom hotwords can be activated as long as you’re on the homescreen.
While this feature is indeed nifty, there are still many questions left unanswered, by the video and by its developer. Will the feature work on any device or only those that meet specific hardware requirements. Will it work on any launcher or just on OmniROM’s customized open source launcher? And finally, what will its impact be on battery life? These questions and more will probably be answered when and if the feature finally makes its way into OmniROM’s builds. And being open source, it will hopefully also find its way to other launchers and ROMs as well.