Search in Storica with Google Now!

With our last update of Storica to V1.6.9.4, you can now search Storica’s monthly trends with the help of Google Now!

How does it work?

Since the latest Google Now update, applications can plug into the search capabilities by allowing for search terms delivered to them. For this, simply open Google Now (e.g., through the HOME button swipe up action on your launcher screen or by saying “OK Google“, depending on your mobile’s configuration). You can either type the search term or use Google’s voice recognition. An example for a search in Storica is:

search date event had coffee in storica

Type in the above sentence (or speak in into your microphone when Google is listening). Google will indicate that it has recognised a search term to be delivered to the Storica app, as shown in the picture below:

Screenshot_2014-12-08-11-31-48

In case you used voice recognition, Google will automatically launch the Storica search activity and you should a result. In case you typed the query manually (in the search box), you will need to press the (check) button shown under the Storica icon. Storica will show the results of the query, depending on what was asked. For the example above, Storica will show (on my device, of course):

Screenshot_2014-12-08-11-40-46

What queries can I formulate?

The queries you can formulate are similar to the ones you can build in our monthly search facility within Storica, explained in a previous blog post.

However, due to Google limitations (Google has problems using words like ‘where’ and ‘when’), the search queries must use specific keywords. Generally, the structure of the query is

search for qualifier information condition value in storica

where:

qualifier is one of date, place or count (date is the ‘when’, place the ‘where’ and count the ‘how often’ query, as used in the graphical interface of Storica)

information is one of event, mood, temperature, pressure, noise, heartrate, speed

condition is one of was, was not, had, had not, greater, lower

value is a single or multiple word value description

The preamble ‘search for’ is required as well as the ending ‘in storica’ in order to start the search within the Storica application.

With the above in mind, examples for valid queries are:

search for date event had coffee in storica (shows you on how many dates you had coffee during the last month)

search for place mood was happy in storica (shows you all places where you were happy during the last month)

search for place mood was very happy in storica (shows you all places where you were VERY happy during the last month)

search for place noise greater 80 in storica (shows you all places where it was rather noisy)

What else can be done?

At the moment, we allow for rather simple queries only, similar to the graphical UI of Storica. The query resolver that we are using can be extended, depending on how useful this feature turns out to be.

Why does it not work?

There are several reasons for why the search might not work. For once, it is really important that Google recognizes the ‘Storica’ keyword at the end in order to direct the query properly to the program. If it is not recognized properly, it might instead search in websites or similar.

Also, the query syntax, as outlined above, is a strict one. Hence, you must use the right keywords and qualifiers as defined. Otherwise, Storica will deliver an error as a small toast message that the search term is not a qualified one (i.e., it is somewhere incorrect).

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