Google Updates Android Voice Actions For Brit Speak

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Google has realised that not everyone speaks English like Americans after it updated Android’s voice support

Google is offering European users the chance to verbally control their Android devices in their native tongue, including those that speak the Queen’s English.

Google announced that it has expanded Voice Actions for Android so that it will now support British English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

The Voice Action capability was first unveiled by Google last year. It essentially allows users to speak verbal commands into their Android smartphones or tablets, to browse the web, make notes, send texts, play music, access websites, or make telephone calls.

Queen’s English

Until now it is thought that Voice Actions for Android was only available for English speakers, and American English speakers to boot.

The technology is based on Google’s popular “Search by Voice” feature. Indeed, Voice Actions for Android is very similar to the technology Apple acquired from Siri in May 2010, and to software from startup Vlingo.

Now Voice Actions for Android can understand Brits speaking the Queen’s English, but it can also accept command from those speaking French, Italian, German and Spanish.

“Today, we’re pleased to announce that users in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain can now use Voice Actions in British English, French, Italian, German and Spanish” said Google’s Bertrand Damiba, a product manager, in a blog post.

“To use Voice Actions, tap the microphone button on the Google search box on your home screen, open the Voice Search app, or press down for a few seconds on the physical search button on your phone to activate the “Speak Now” screen.”

It also offered a video demonstration of the feature in action.

Downloadable App

Voice Actions is available on phones and tablets running Android 2.2 and higher, and can downloaded from the Android Market.

The following is a list of the commands that can be spoken in order to perform a Voice Action on a particular phone or tablet:

  • send text to [contact] [message]
  • call [business]
  • call [contact]
  • go to [website]
  • navigate to [location/business name]
  • directions to [location/business name]
  • map of [location]

Users can also use their voice to conduct a Google search.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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