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First Look: Google’s Voice Search App for iPhone, Impressive Results

Google has an update to their native iPhone application that integrates voice recognition. With the new app, iPhone users can speak and ask questions directly into the device before Google returns back a set of search results.

google voice
The user interface is polished and very refined. iPhone owners will love the interaction while performing a search.

Our first impressions, the app responds surprisingly well, and Google’s voice interpretation efforts are clearly being showcased. The application allows you to speak into your device, and then converts the sound into a digital file which is sent to Google’s servers. The servers will then try and analyze the information to determine the best search results to display. Unlike many applications aimed at achieving the same functionality prior to this one, (not surprisingly) none have worked as well as Google’s.

google voice
Search results are displayed quickly and are very easy to navigate. This is why we love Google.

After some initial trouble communicating with Apple in getting the update pushed through to the App Store, it has finally been made available. You can download the app here.

If you are familiar with, or have used either “Say Where!” (link) or “Say Who” (link), you’ll know that voice recognition on the iPhone has been nowhere near ready for public consumption. In order for user input to change so dramatically, and for a mass amount of people to adopt it, the inevitable lag in parsing the audio content would need to be greatly reduced. Google’s attempt at voice interpretation is a major step in the right direction. The application delivers search results fast, and with relative ease. Major phrases are understood, and even less common words and phrases are interpreted well. Overall our initial reaction to the application is great.

Interestingly, Apple has recently been rumored to be working on some visual enhancements to search results as we know them today. Specifically, speculation has led us to believe that Apple will be utilizing Google’s back-end search abilities, and enhancing the way data and search results are presented.

Comments [6]

6 Comments to “First Look: Google’s Voice Search App for iPhone, Impressive Results”

ShiningOn @ November 17th, 2008 at 8:18 pm
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In my tests it’s having a little bit of a hard time determining “b’s” from “d’s” (the letter B, and the letter D). And words with a “z” or “v” in the middle are getting confused too. It might be because I’m in a cafe though.

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H20 @ November 17th, 2008 at 8:21 pm
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Not sure what the end result with this is. Is it novelty? Is it intended as a serious alternative to search for users? Is it just another “project” that Google is working on?

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BetaHater @ November 17th, 2008 at 8:23 pm
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At least it’s not a beta.

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Emeka @ November 17th, 2008 at 9:15 pm
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10 trials so far on an iPhone 3g. Has not recognised even 1 search.

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busby seo test @ November 18th, 2008 at 3:33 am
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wonderful invention. I love it!

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Jeff @ November 18th, 2008 at 6:57 am
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So far, the only thing that tripped it up has been “deoxyribonucleic acid”. That took two tries. Everything else, including proper names, has been recognized on the first try. Apparently, Google voice search speaks Redneck…

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