Google Offers Voice Actions for Android, Chrome to Phone

Aug 13th, 2010 | By technologynews | Category: Technology
Google Offers Voice Actions for Android, Chrome to Phone
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Google put Apple’s Siri and startups such as Vlingo on notice with Voice
Actions for Android, an extension of Google’s voice-search technology that lets
users speak commands into their smartphone to browse the Web, send texts and
make calls.

Users of smartphones running Android 2.2 can tap the microphone button on
the Google search box on their phone’s home screen, or press and hold the
physical-search button on the phone to activate the “Speak Now”
screen.

Google has created a number of commands users can use to send text messages,
find directions or call businesses. Users may read those commands here and see a demo of them in action.

The technology builds on Google’s popular Search by Voice feature, which
lets speakers of English, Spanish, Japanese and several other languages, speak
into their phone’s microphone to search the Web.

Available now for English speakers only, Voice Actions for Android will be
pre-installed with the new Motorola Droid 2 phone, which Verizon Wireless began
selling Aug. 12.

However, users with Android 2.2-based smartphones such as the original
Motorola Droid, Google Nexus One, HTC Evo 4G must “download several app
updates” from Android Market to use Voice Actions.

These include Voice Search, the Google Search widget and preferred music
apps. These apps do not come pre-installed on those handsets.

Voice Actions for Android is very similar to technology Apple acquired from
Siri in May, and to software from startup Vlingo.

Siri lets iPhone users book restaurant tables and buy movie tickets
by speaking into their phone.

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