Motorola(s goog) updated its Touchless Control software on Wednesday evening, adding an optional feature to read incoming notifications aloud. Android Central notes that by speaking either the phrase “What’s up?” or “Read my notifications,” the app will read out notifications on the Moto X or Verizon(s vz)(s vod) Moto Droid phones.
Users will first have to “wake” the phone up by saying “OK Google Now,” which is the default launch command for Touchless Control. The phone is always listening for this phrase and does so with a low-powered digital signal processor so it doesn’t hurt battery life.
I’ve already updated the app on my Moto X and can see plenty of opportunities to use it. At the beginning of the day when I first wake up, for example. I leave the Moto X on my nightstand to charge and put it in a do not disturb mode for sleeping hours. Now, instead of reaching over for the phone and my glasses, I can simply speak “OK Google Now, what’s up?” to catch up on incoming information.
Here’s a sample from an incoming text I sent myself from my Google Voice account:
I also leave the Moto X on my desk all day while working on a computer and often speak to it for information using Google voice search. Now I can focus on my computing tasks without notifications popping up on-screen by just having the phone read my notifications throughout the day as needed. And while driving, this type of spoken information could be useful as well.
Motorola says it has also improved the app: The software is faster at determining when you’re done speaking or asking a question so it returns results faster.