Thursday, August 9, 2012

Google Voice Search Getting Enhancements; It Speaks Back to You

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean's Voice Search is pretty cool. It speaks back in a voice that is really human and natural-sounding, it is integrated into the Google Knowledge Graph infrastructure and the interface looks good too.

They have now announced "enhanced voice search" on both iOS and Android which will practically bring Jelly Bean's voice assistant-like features to the Search app for Android and iOS.
Google uploaded a video introducing what they call "enhanced voice search" on the Google Search app for Android and iOS. It is embedded below.

You can talk to the app naturally, like you can with Siri and it speaks out the answers from Google's Knowledge Graph results as the answers. 

You can ask the weather, basic questions like the population of San Francisco, height of Sam Jackson and more. The video also shows someone say to the Search app "I need a mechanic" and the app tells him about mechanics nearby.

This functionality is available in the latest version of Google Search for Android already and is coming soon to iOS. I can't wait to try it out.

The Google Search app for Android, however, is not available for all phones. I had a Samsung Galaxy S2 with ICS at my disposal, but I couldn't get the enhanced features to work because the official search app is simply not available on this phone. Google Search capability is built into the phone, but voice-searching from the widget does not give me new features, as results open in the browser. It's all very confusing, fragmented and all over the place.