Google Now to Get Hands-Free Music Controls in Future Update

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Google Now already includes plenty of handy little services, but the latest addition could be one of the most welcome yet, particularly if you’re about to buy an Android Wear smartwatch. According to reports, Google Now will soon respond to your voice and control the music player on your Android phone.

Most Android phone users will be familiar with the “OK Google Now” voice command, which can be used to do everything from perform a web search, to setting a reminder and finding directions to a nearby place. Using the phrase “OK Google Now, listen to…” and adding the name of a song has always opened the music app, but this functionality is being expanded.

At least, according to fan site¬†Android Police, where a set of screenshots showing the new features have been published. In the next version of Google Now, you should be able to have finer control over the music player. Saying “Play next song” should advance the track, while it’s also possible to skip backwards too.

A short video shows the feature in action, and while it’s not exactly fast, it does work. It seems the version being used is an early one, and there’s speculation when it gets a full release, it’ll include other features such as volume adjustment, and finer control over the playlist including stop, pause, and restart.

While hands-free music controls may not be essential on a smartphone, it’s going to make a big difference to Android Wear users. If you’ve got an Android phone with Google Now activated, or you use the Google Now Launcher available through Google Play, then look out for the music controls soon. You can take a look at the video that gives a first look at the new Google Now functionality below.

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