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Google Launches Voice Search App For iPhone

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Those pesky third party mobile apps are at it again and once more Google is the one kicking up a stir...

Perhaps bizarrely then it is not the Android Market we are talking about here, but the iPhone's App Store. Yep, instead of beefing up its own platform (which has suffered stupefying security flaws in the last week) the search giant is making its number one competitor more attractive through 'voice search'.

The free application - which is expected to hit the App store today - will enable owners to speak to their handset and ask virtually any question from "What is the capital of France?" to "Where is the local cinema?" and even "Why are we doing this on the iPhone first, not Android?" (ok, that last one - I was fibbing).
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Once spoken, the sounds are sent to Google servers as a digital file, analysed and the answers returned in some detail - in the case of store requests, for example, there can be directions and (where applicable) Google reviews, links and contact details. The whole process is claimed to less just a few seconds too over a decent WiFi connection.

Of course the retort to all this is: just type it! The iPhone has integrated Google search in the iPhone browser, native Google Maps and more - and if you can't type using the iPhone I think I can safely speak on behalf of the whole team and say you're a muppet who just hasn't tried hard enough to learn.

With a very soft launch recently for Yahoo! voice activated OneSearch earlier this week however clearly there is perceived to be a growing market for putting away the keyboard. In which case perhaps we'll need a blink-activated search next, to save us the effort of having to speak...

In mildly related news Apple has released Safari 3.2 for both Mac OS X and Windows. Bolstered phishing protection and bug fixes are the helpful, if unexciting changes, but why they should be relevant to you when Firefox, Opera and Chrome are out there quite baffles me...

Update: Yes, it never appeared and according to TechCrunch it's all down to Apple's ridiculous approval policy - if anyone was going to get preferential treatment... dear me Apple...

Update 2: It's out now!

Update 3: ...and it apparently only works if you have an American accent and confuses an uncommon amount of requests for 'sex'. Perhaps best wait until an update... or perhaps not?

Link:
via The NYT

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