"OK Google, where are the open houses in Chicago?" That's a question that might yield a useful response for Android users, now that Zillow's real estate service is integrated into Google's voice search.
Several new integrations hit Google's voice search system for Android devices on Thursday, which lets people conduct queries orally by first saying, "OK Google." In addition to Zillow, Shazam, NPR and online radio service TuneIn have been integrated.
The integrations require users to have those other apps on their smartphone or tablet. But instead of having to open the apps individually, users can ask their mobile device directly, which, hopefully, will then take them inside the appropriate app with an answer.
The Zillow integration will work for local searches as well as housing searches in other cities. Users, for instance, can search for homes for sale, for rent, or for open houses. "Show apartments for rent in Boston on Zillow," you could say.
With TuneIn, users can say, "Open TuneIn in car mode." That would be helpful for hands-free driving.
Through the Shazam integration, people can ask their smartphone what song is playing around them, by saying, "OK Google, Shazam this song." (Google voice search already lets people identify songs without Shazam.)
Since Google opened outside support for its OK Google voice search in 2014, developers of many other third party apps have integrated their apps into the system. There's also tons of useful commands that can be conducted using Google's own smarts.
Its functionalities extend beyond search. The "OK Google" command is also now a key element in how people interact with smartwatches running Google's Android Wear operating system.