The Google Voice Search which is a small microphone icon based service now supports 13 new languages making the total support to 42 languages and accents in 46 countries. This is infact a big news for those users who have been waiting for this voice powered search support for their languages. These are the languages which are added :
- European Portuguese
Aug 21, 2010 : Every so often a cell phone comes out with a feature that makes our friend’s jaws drop when we utilize the feature in front of them. Android comes with a variety of such features but one of the most impressive of these is the voice search feature that is built into the Android software stack. Sure, voice recognition is not something new in regards to cell phone technology. In fact many (non-smart) phones had the capability to call contacts based upon specific voice commands. However, Android goes one better by allowing you to perform web searches based upon what you say into the phone’s receiver. Smart phones have just got smarter.
To do this you have to hold down the search button until a screen is presented that asks you to speak. Once this screen pops up you just speak into the phone and it does a web search on what you say. Pretty nifty really – the first time I did this in front of a friend they looked at their own phone in disgust. Needless to say they went out and purchased an Android enabled phone within the next week. The awesome doesn’t stop there however. Depending on what you say into the phone when you have the screen up, the phone does different things. It works like a quick button function that navigates directly to the phone’s settings that you specify.
For example, try saying to ‘navigate to sound’ and it should navigate directly to the phone’s sound options. This might not be a groundbreaking tip for those of us that read the manual that came with our phone or who have had our phones for an extended period of time – however there are people out there that prefer trial and error when learning how to use their new gadgets rather than reading a wall of text manual about specific features. It is an interesting feature (and a ground breaking one) and may show Blackberry or iPhone users a thing or two about what makes a great phone – it is not always flashy that wins in the end, functionality can indeed trump aesthetics.
If you have installed an app that overwrites this functionality you can always change back to the voice search function. Look around for the ‘voice search’ option in your phones options so that it doesn’t try and open an app when you press down the search function. There are a few apps that ‘hijack’ the search button such as Edwin or Power Strip. Some people may not find the voice search function useful – in that regard maybe you prefer having another app utilise the search button. There are a range of other functions voice search works for as well.
A few of these other voice search functions (other than those already talked about) include phonebook look ups (“call ‘whoever you want to call’”), finding directions (“directions to ‘where ever you want to go’”) and specific navigation (“navigate to ‘where ever you want to go’”). So the voice search function is far from useless.