Cheng Gong

Bringing Serenade to the Terminal

By Cheng Gong on April 6, 2021

With plugins for editors like VS Code and browsers like Chrome, you can use Serenade to write code, read documentation, and create web pages entirely with voice. Now, we’re bringing Serenade to one of the most important developer tools—the terminal. Today, we’re releasing Serenade plugins for two popular terminal applications: iTerm2 and Hyper. Head to the plugins page to give them a try!

iTerm2 is one of the most-used terminal applications on macOS. With powerful features like multiple panes and search, along with lightning-fast performance, it’s a huge upgrade over the terminal app that comes bundled with macOS. Meanwhile, Hyper is a modern terminal application built on web technologies. Hyper works seamlessly across Windows, Linux, and macOS, while offering customizability based on open web standards.

Let’s take a quick look at how Serenade’s terminal plugins work.

The most common voice command you’ll use in the terminal is the run command. As you’d guess, you can execute commands in your terminal simply by saying run cd or run apt install python. We’ve trained machine learning models just for Bash, so when you say run ls dash la, Serenade knows you mean ls -la, without you needing to specify spacing manually. And don’t worry—Serenade will never execute a destructive command in your terminal without you confirming first.

All of Serenade’s editing commands work in the terminal as well. If your active terminal line already contains part of a command, you can simply say commands like insert dash v or insert star to append text. Or, you can quickly make edits by saying commands like change find to grep or delete to end of line.

Serenade can also control terminal application features. For instance, you can use commands like new tab and previous tab to manage tabs, and undo to roll back your last edit to a command. And, for full control, you can always specify keystrokes to be sent to the terminal with commands like press command k.

Like all of Serenade’s plugins, we’ve open-sourced Serenade for iTerm2 and Serenade for Hyper on our GitHub page. Both of these plugins are also built on top of the open-source Serenade Protocol, which defines how any application can integrate with Serenade’s powerful voice commands.

We’re excited to see what you build with Serenade’s new terminal integrations! Today’s release is just the start for terminal support—we’re continuing to iterate on terminal integrations and bring more functionality to Serenade across all applications.