Remember that Google announcement? The one we were hoping would feature Eric Schmidt in a suit of armour? It was to reveal Google voice actions, a new set of features for Google Voice Search that supercharges Android 2.2 Froyo with new voice commands that will leave lots of iPhone owners spitting pips. Head through to see Google voice actions at work…
The new Google Voice Search app with Google voice actions baked in only works on phones packing Android 2.2 Froyo, so if you’re toting a freshly updated HTC Desire or Nexus One, you’re in luck. In the US, the feature is coming pre-installed on the Droid 2.
Google has added a whole range of new voice commands, which it calls “voice actions”, to Google Voice Search for Android 2.2 Froyo and they pretty much let you control your entire phone by talking.
The previous Google Voice Search app restricted you to web searches, calling contacts and navigating to a specific address. Google voice actions now gives you 12 different voice commands to choose from.
You can see Google voice actions in use in the video above. The perky Googler creates a text message and email using voice, finds and automatically calls a business (he chooses a posh bakery, we’d probably have gone for Gregg’s), searches for a location with Google Maps Navigation and selects and plays a song.
Using Google voice actions is as simple as pressing the microphone icon in the Google search bar on your Android 2.2 phone or holding down the physical search button for a few seconds.
If you’ve got Android 2.2 Froyo installed, you can grab the new Google Voice Search app and search widget directly from Google’s blogpost using the QR codes it’s helpfully included at the end.
Putting Google voice actions at the heart of the Android OS is a smart move and you can expect Apple to follow suit with similar advanced voice functions in iOS in the near future. Siri, which the folks at Cupertino snapped up earlier in the year, offers voice search smarts with an AI twist.
Hit the comments and let us know what you make of the new Google Voice Search app.
Out now | £free | Google