No word on there being any updates to the Android Market, like I’d hoped. Instead, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is announcing two new products today. The first is Voice Actions, which allows you to use a whole new set of voice commands on an Android phone. The second new product is called Chrome-to-Phone, a feature that was demoed at Google’s I/O conference.
Voice Actions will allow you to dictate any number of commands into the phone, like setting your alarm clock, transcribing an e-mail, conducting a search, listening to music, or starting a navigation, according to a live blog at Technologizer.com. The Google Mobile Blog offers the entire list of commands:
– send text to [contact] [message]
– listen to [artist/song/album]
– call [business]
– call [contact]
– send e-mail to [contact] [message]
– go to [website]
– note to self [note]
– navigate to [location/business name]
– directions to [location/business name]
– map of [location]
While voice dictation has been around on phones for along time, garbled words had made it virtually impossible to use — until recently. Now, many see it as the solution to small screens and awkward keyboards. Google says its voice dictation is 70 percent accurate and it’s being widely adopted. On Android 2.0 devices and higher, 25 percent of searches are using voice. Another hurdle to adoption is knowing specifically how to word phrases so it knows what you want to do. T-Mobile USA rolled out the myTouch Slider with additional voice capabilities that go beyond what Google offered back then. Called the Genius button, it offered a limited set of use-case scenarios so people didn’t get overwhelmed. It’s using Nuance Communication’s voice recognition engine for the app.
The other new product, Chrome-to-Phone, is a browser plug-in that lets you share information between your PC and your phone. The feature was presented back in May at Google I/O, and was apparently made with an engineer’s 20 percent free time. It works like this: Install the extension on your browser and then when you are reading an interesting article, you can send it to your phone to finish it later. Likewise, you can push YouTube videos, or Maps, as well.