The latest update to Google for iPhone includes voice recognition, and my initial testing reveals that it does a very good job. One caveat, is that though you can set an option to search contacts, it doesn’t seem to work, even though you can type a portion of a contact name and it finds those that match right away.
That being said, this app is nothing short of a groundbreaker for smartphones, if for no other reason than the breath of question types that return the expected results. I might even call this downright trecky, as Spock would say, “computer on” – is that what he said?
Here’s a list of questions I asked my iPhone, (spoken questions are in bold) and the responses that were returned by the Google app.
- GTD Workflow Diagram – Google responded with three images and links to David Allen’s Web site.
- Books Getting Things Done – Google returned a link to David Allen’s book on Amazon.
- USB Extender – Google correctly returned search results for the item requested.
- Define ASP – Google returned “Application Service Provider” and several links to definitions.
- Define Kerning – Google returned, “the amount of space between text between fonts.”
- 3814 divided by 60 – Google responded 63.5666667.
- Square root of 89 – Google returned 9.43398113
- How many feet in a mile – Google responded 5280.
- How many cups in a gallon – Google returned, 16 U.S. Cups.
- 50 US dollars to Euros – Google responded, 39.622791 Euros.
- 400 Washington Avenue 21204 – Google returned a map to the location.
- Panera Bread – Google provided address, telephone number and map to the Panera nearest my current location, along with a clickable phone number.
- Safeway – Google provided address, telephone number and map to the Safeway nearest my current location, along with a clickable phone number.
- Stocks Apple – Google returned the latest quote and chart summary.
- Picture of Golden Gate Bridge – Google returned two images and links for the GGB.
- New York to Los Angeles – Flights from NY to LA from Expedia
- Movies – returned a list of movies and local showtimes.
- Movies Quantum of Solace – returned local theaters and showtimes for this movie.
- Froogle waterski – returned a link to shopping results for waterski.
- Entered friend’s name, city and state – returned full name, complete address and phone number.
Area and Zip Codes
- Area Code 443 – returned Baltimore, Maryland with a link to show a map of the area code.
- Zip Code 21144 – returned Severn, MD and a map of the locale.
This was enough for me to proclaim this app a winner. Of course, depending on an individual’s voice, results may vary. And here’s hoping Google gets the voice activated contacts working real soon. Thanks for reading, John.