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Google Launches 'Voice Action' For Android

|August 14 2010 |Android Phones, Mobile Apps


Google has now introduced a new feature for Andorid phones. Interestingly, the new feature will let you control Android phones using your voice. The search engine company is introducing 'Voice Actions' -- a series of spoken commands that will allow users to control their phones.

"Call businesses and contacts, send texts and email, listen to music, browse the web, and complete common tasks, all just by speaking into your phone," said Hugo Barra, product management director and Dave Burke, engineering manager, Google.

To use 'Voice Actions', tap the microphone button on the Google search box on your home screen, or press down for a few seconds on the physical search button on your phone to activate the 'Speak Now' screen. Speak any of these commands to perform a 'Voice Action' on your phone:

* send text to [contact] [message]
* listen to [artist/song/album]
* call [business]
* call [contact]
* send email to [contact] [message]
* go to [website]
* note to self [note]
* navigate to [location/business name]
* directions to [location/business name]
* map of [location]

Also, one can conduct a Google search using his voice.



Besides this, the company is also releasing an updated version of the Google search widget for Android. When you type a local search query, like [italian restaurants] you'll see suggested restaurants with addresses and ratings. Also, as you type queries, you can refine them further by tapping the pencil icon that appears to the right of search suggestions.

Both Voice Actions and the new Google search widget require Android 2.2 (Froyo), and will be pre-installed with the new Droid 2 phone from Motorola and Verizon. Voice Actions are currently available for US English speakers.

Users having another phone with Android 2.2 (like the Nexus One, HTC Evo or the original Droid), they'll need to download several app updates from Android Market to get all the latest features:

* Voice Search (this app includes Voice Actions)
* Google Search widget
* music apps (eg. Pandora, Last.fm, Rdio, mSpot)


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