Search by Voice and Google Maps Navigation 4.2 Go International
Article by George Norman
On 14 Jun 2010
Great news for Android users outside the US of A: Google Search by Voice and Google Maps Navigation 4.2 have gone international. Starting with Google Search by Voice, the feature can now be used by French, German, Italian, and Spanish speakers. Please note that the feature has been set up to work with accents from Spain, France, Italy, and Germany. It will not work with variations, such as German with an Austrian accent.

“Our goal is to bring Google Search by voice to speakers of all languages. We follow a rigorous process to add each new language or dialect. Working directly with native speakers in each country, we spend weeks collecting spoken utterances to create the specific models which power the service. Our helpers are asked to read popular queries in their native tongue, in a variety of acoustic conditions such as in restaurants, out on busy streets, and inside cars. We also construct, for each language, a vocabulary of over one million recognizable words. It’s no small feat, but we love doing it,” commented Amir Mané, Product Manager, Google Speech Technologies.


If you have Android 1.6 or 2.1 and Quick Search Box installed, simply tap the microphone icon and you’ll be able to start a voice-powered search. Voice search will return recognition results for French, German, Italian or Spanish if your phone has one of those languages chosen in ‘Language and keyboard’ settings. If you have a BlackBerry or an iPhone, you need to get the Google Mobile App. Then you need to select the new languages from the settings panel.

Moving on, Google Maps Navigation 4.2 has gone international as well. The application has been released in the following 11 countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland

“Google Maps Navigation is an Internet-connected GPS navigation or ‘satnav’ system that provides turn-by-turn voice guidance as a free feature of Google Maps. Google Maps Navigation (beta) with Search by voice is available in version 4.2 of Google Maps, on Android devices 1.6 and higher. Try Google Maps Navigation in your local country and language today -- and have a great time touring around the Continent this summer if you get the chance,” commented Michael Siliski, Product Manager, Google Maps for mobile.

Tags: Google, Search by Voice, Google Maps, Google Maps Navigation
About the author: George Norman
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