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Google Voice Actions Comes to Android


Star Trek has just got a little bit closer to reality with the release of Voice Actions for Android. This enables users to perform a number of tasks, such as sending a text, searching the internet or finding directions, entirely by voice.

Voice Actions ties in with Google Maps so say, search for a local business and dial it for you without any other input other than voice. There are 13 actions available in total, so you can now dictate an email or even leave a note to yourself.

The software is available for any phone running Android 2.2 or above, and will require downloading Google Voice Search, the Google Search widget and a compatible music app such as Last FM from the Android Store.

Google has released a very impressive demo of the app in action, hosted by lead engineer for Voice Actions Mike LeBeau.

However, it could prove to be a bit of a damp squib for UK users though, as the existing Google Voice Search struggles with non-US English, and it’s the same story here. The UK and the US are divided by a common language, as ever.

The update will help Google battle Apple’s iOS4, whose voice capabilities now seem rather tame by comparison. Google’s product manager Hugo Barra told the BBC that one in four searches conducted on Android is done using a voice search.

Google has also announced “Chrome to Phone”, which pushes links, websites and direction from Chrome on the desktop to your Android device, so you can pick up and carry on where you left off when going mobile.

Link: Google Voice blog post.

Link: Chrome to Phone blog post.

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