Google Announces Search-by-Voice for Android
Article by George Norman
On 04 Feb 2009
The iPhone search-by-voice app that Google, after experiencing some problems, released late last year is being ported to the Android powered G1 or Google phone. The much awaited release is scheduled for this week, when an Android update will be pushed out. Don’t bother practicing you American accent if you are from the UK, because after the problems the search-by-voice for the iPhone app had last time, Google will not launch it in merry old England.

The benefits of the Google search-by-voice app are obvious: instead of typing in a search query, you get to just say it out loud, which is infinitely more convenient, no matter how much of a keyboard shortcut junkie you are. All you have to do is press the microphone button, wait for the “Speak now” prompt, convey your query verbally, and wait for the results. Alternatively you can use the app to seamlessly access your contacts or phone someone in your contacts list.

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From time to time the search-by-voice app will not be able to properly identify the query you provided. If this is the case simply tap the down arrow and view a list of suggested queries, or what the software thinks you just said. Expect problems like this to occur less frequently as Google is constantly working to improve the software.

Software Engineer with the Android Team, Jeff Hamilton comments: “Don't want to type a long query, like "U.S. economic stimulus plan", on your T-Mobile G1? Just say it. Or, perhaps you'd like to browse the web without sliding out the keyboard? Well now you can. For those of you with a G1 in the US, the next time you get an Android update (which will gradually roll out starting this week), you'll be able to start searching -- and surfing -- with your voice. And you can use the feature quickly and easily because it's integrated in the Android browser and the home screen search widget.”



Tags: Google, Android, G1, Search-by-Voice
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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