~Google for iPhone is Listening

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.


Web Searches

  • 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.

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