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Saturday, 15 November 2008 07:42

Google voice search coming to iPhone

Sometime today a new Google app is expected to launch a new app at the iPhone App Store that everyone's talking about and soon will be talking to: an app which lets you search Google using your voice!

The New York Times has published an article that says Google is set to launch a new voice search program for the iPhone.

Expected to arrive today, the software lets you ask questions, which are then recorded as a file, sent to Google’s servers, turned into text and then sent to Google’s search engine, after which the results are displayed on screen.

Apparently the software currently works best if you have a North American accent, at least in its first version, and provided you are using a 3G connection or are connected via Wi-Fi, the entire process takes “just seconds”.

The software also uses the iPhone’s accelerometer to determine when you are holding the phone up to your ear, at which point the software knows you are about to speak and is ready to record your query.

The technology as such isn’t new – Microsoft and Yahoo already offer voice to text search software for other smartphones, but it is new on the iPhone, and it is new for Google.

Google also says the software won’t remain an iPhone exclusive, and will appear for other smartphones – no doubt an Android version is also planned, given this is Google’s own smartphone operating system.

If location services are activated, the search query can be used to find venues based on your current location, further enhancing the search’s usefulness to users and advertisers, given that sponsored links are part of any Google search result.

Google’s power to attract talent is also clearly evident in the New York Times article, quoting the head of Google’s mobile business, Vic Gundotra, who was a former Microsoft executive, and Mike Cohen, a speech research at Google who was the co-founder of Nuance Communications, the company that now owns the Dragon Naturally Speaking dictation and transcription software.

The software will be available free of charge. Have a read through the original article for more information!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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