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Google is hearing voices

Android 2.2 gets ten audio commands
Fri Aug 13 2010, 11:21

ANDROID VERSION 2.2 codenamed "Froyo" was released by Google yesterday and the company demoed its expanded voice command functionality.

Google said it wants to use voice recognition technology to improve mobile devices, like by replacing typing on a small keyboard where possible. It also claimed it has improved its voice recognition translation technology.

"Before it was easy to search the web using voice but people do a lot more than just search the web," Google's Android 2.2 product manager Hugo Barra told the BBC.

"Now you can voice up text messages, e-mail a reminder to yourself, set your alarm clock, get directions, find music, open a map and call places. It really is about interacting with the device in the simplest of ways using the voice."

Google's voice command tool doesn't do anything that isn't already on the market. But the company has tweaked the experience and offers every type of voice-based technology in one package with the Froyo release of Android. Punters using the Android 2.2 OS will get dictation turned into text messages or e-mails and the improved voice recognition technology.

Google also launched Chrome to phone, which "allows users to move from the desktop computer to the mobile device by transferring information like websites, driving directions and even phone numbers."

It wants to roll out the voice technology on as many phones as possible but it won't be coming to mobile phones running older versions of the Android OS for now.

Android has come out of nowhere to sell smartphones and computers by the trainload. While Microsoft is still doodling on an October release date for Windows Phone 7, Google is hitting the ball out of the park. Apple didn't see this one coming. µ


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