Casting Spells with Your Android

Calling all Potterheads!  Have you read all seven Harry Potter books and hosted at least one movie binge session?  Are you still waiting for your Hogwarts letter?  Did you buy a wand and robes and secretly try spells in your room?  Well, now is your time!  Back in November 2016, Google partnered with Warner Bros. Pictures to promote the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  Using an Android phone (sorry iPhones!), you could look at locations from the movie using Google Maps and even turn your phone into a wand.  While months have gone by, with the movie now already out on DVD, some of these features are still in place!

There are three spells for your Android phone that will give you the tingle and the magic of wizardry.  So listen up witches and wizards and get ready for Spell-Casting 101.

First, access your Google Now voice assistant by saying “Okay Google” or by clicking on the speaker icon.  Then say one of three spells: Lumos (or Lumos Maxima), Nox, or Silencio.

Lumos will turn on the flashlight, Nox will turn off the flashlight, and Silencio will silence your phone.  Pretty simple, but pretty magical.  These features came out a while ago, but they are still going strong!  (Please note, Lumos Maxima does not magically make your flashlight brighter.  I wish.)

Are they the quickest ways to access these features?  No.  But are they the coolest way?  Absolutely.  I find myself doing the spells over and over again, and each time, I am amazed at the quick and easy result.  The phone responds just about immediately for each spell without confusion.  The only exception is the spell Nox.  Every time I try this spell, my phone thinks I am saying knox, before quickly correcting itself to Nox.  Keep in mind, this takes only a few seconds, but it does have a greater lag time than the other two spells.  The first time I tried it, I thought it didn’t work.  So if using the spell Nox, just be patient!  Google needs a second for spell-check.

I have only two complaints about these features.  One, it is a little annoying to say “Okay Google” before each spell.  It definitely takes some of the magic out of the experience.  Two, I want more!  Having tasted the power and magic of spell-casting, it is rather frustrating to be stymied with only three simple options.

Want to experiment with other spells?  Go ahead, but so far only these three spells seem to work.  I tried out multiple Harry Potter spells, and my google assistant either translated the Latin for me –by the way, Expecto Patronum means ‘I await a guardian’ –or searched the spell online.

Nevertheless, I for one hope that Google will keep these features in place for as long as possible.  And who knows?  With the next Fantastic Beasts movie in the works, we may be getting some new spells again soon!  And I may need to find a phone case that looks like a magic wand.

Have you tried out these features on your phone?  What spells would you like to see Google add to your Android’s capabilities?  Let us know in the comments below!

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