Mobile, Tech

Google Introduces Voice Actions for Android

Android robot logo.
Image via Wikipedia

Google has introduced Voice Actions for Android smart-phone devices. Voice Actions are a series of spoken commands that gives phone-users voice-control of their device. This makes it possible to perform activities such as, calling businesses and contacts, sending texts and email, listening to music, browsing the web, and completing common tasks through spoken commands instead of pressing keys or buttons. In addition users can also search the Internet, set e-mail reminders, set the alarm clock, find directions and open a map. Read how to use Google Android’s voice commands here.

This development is already being hailed as “the most significant progress Google has made in speech recognition ever since voice search was launched two years ago.” Already voice search represents one in every four searched made on Android. Meanwhile, Google has released an updated version of its search widget for Android.  Both Voice Actions and the new Google search widget requires Android 2.2. (Froyo), and will be pre-installed with the new Droid smart-phone from Motorola and Verizon. Users of other phones with Android 2.2. such as Nexus One, HTC Evo or the original Droid will need to download several app updates (see listed below) from the Android Market to get all the latest functionalities.

  • Voice Search app (includes Voice Actions)
  • Google Search widget
  • Music apps for example, Pandora, Last.fm, Rdio and mSpot

Presently, Voice Actions are only available for U.S. English speakers. Google hopes that this new feature will continue to boost Android sales and keep it ahead of its competitors such as Apple, who have a similar application called Sirl that allow users to find restaurant addresses or movie listings with voice commands.

Talking Point

What role will the ability to interact with devices by speech play in future mobile phone development?

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15 Comments

  1. I seldom use it too. Personally, it’s more convenient to use the traditional way because when I use this voice actions feature, sometimes it doesn’t do the right thing and it’s kinda annoying. But this one is a great addition though.

  2. Maybe it is just me with my clunky old LG phone and my slow as molasses computer, but I am really not feeling the voice movement. Not yet anyway. The closest anyone has come is the company that produces Dragon Naturally Speaking, and that program has flaws.

  3. Man this is going to be a boon for all of the android users means how cool it would be to use a phone with speaking commands only. you can easily engage yourself in other activities as well along with using the phone as well.

  4. This should be a really nice tool and very fun to use since it could identify our own voice. I really wonder how they made this tool. This is really an excellent technology.

  5. Google probably is trying to compete with Apple’s Siri with their voice recognition system. SIRI has helped Apple sell their iPhone4S, and that success certainly has made many mobile phone makers to incorporate voice recognition software into their phones.

  6. Google is always ahead of everyone else, voice recognition is pretty powerful if perfected.

    Thanks for the article.

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