The ability to control your Android device with a quick “OK, Google” command is pretty sweet, until you try it without a connection. Now it looks like Google is getting ready to add some offline controls, according to a new APK teardown from Android Police.
The feature, which is built into version 4.8 of the Google app, offers some limited controls for your device when you don’t have service. Saying “OK, Google” without a connection will apparently pull up a new info card called “Offline voice tips,” listing a few possible commands including “Make a Call,” “Send a text,” “Play some music” and “Turn on Wi-Fi.”
It’s possible Google’s offline mode will expand in the future to cover other aspects of the app including Google Now. That could be especially useful as Google Maps goes offline, too. Android Police notes that the new feature doesn’t actually work yet, though it seems likely a future update will unlock the option.
The new APK is actually chock full of small improvements, including warnings when you connect to an insecure network, voice commands for controlling the volume and brightness, Google Cast support, and something called “local maps” based on your location. We may also get more notifications for public transportation and a shortcut for Reminders.
Of course there’s no guarantee any of these features will actually make the jump from hidden code to the official Google app. Still, it’s always interesting to see what Mountain View has in the pipeline.