Android: Voice Search App Gets Personalized Voice Recognition
Article by George Norman
On 17 Dec 2010
Voice Search for Android is a handy little application that takes the typing out of the searching experience. Instead of typing in a query, you can speak it out instead; the app will recognize what you said and perform a search based on that query. But I guess you already know that.

What you may not know is that the Voice Search app for Android got personalized voice recognition capabilities. As Mountain View-based search engine giant Google explained, building speech models broad enough to accommodate a wide variety of people, regardless of gender, age, and accents, or variations in pitch, pace, and other factors was good, but was not good enough. Things could always get better – and they got better with the introduction of personalized recognition.


This feature works by listening to how you speak, by learning your unique and individual speech patterns. By learning how you speak, the Voice Search can more accurately recognize what you say when performing a search-by-voice.

“If you opt into personalized recognition, we begin to associate the recordings of the words that you ask us to recognize with your Google account,” explained Amir Mané, Product Manager and Glen Shires, Member of Technical Staff. “We then automatically use these words to build a speech model specifically for you. This speech model enables us to deliver greater recognition accuracy. Although subtle, accuracy improvements begin fairly quickly and will build over time.”

If you would like to get the latest version of the Voice Search for Android app, you can do so by either searching for Voice Search in the Android Market, or by scanning the QR code at the bottom of this article. Please note that the personalized recognition functionality is currently available only for English in the United States; Google said support for other languages and countries will be added in the future. Also note that Voice Search only works with Android 2.2 or later.

The QR code I mentioned above

Tags: Google, Voice Search, Android, App
About the author: George Norman
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