The idea behind it is that you simply speak into your iPhone and ask a question, such as “Where is the nearest pub?” This sound is converted to a digital file and sent to Google’s servers, which then work out (or attempt to work out) the words that have been said and feed that into the search engine. The results are then sent back to the user’s iPhone via the network or Wi-Fi.
The technology won’t be perfect at launch, but Google believes it will be accurate enough that people who want to avoid typing searches into their touchscreen will use it frequently – and also that accuracy will improve greatly in the months after launch.
And there’s good news for non-iPhone users too – Google plans to bring voice search to other makes and models of mobile phones eventually. There’s no timeline on that, though, so it could be a while until it appears on S60, Windows Mobile et al.
As we say, there is talk that the app could arrive later on today, so keep an eye out for it.