Google launches iPhone voice search app

After weekend delay, search-by-voice update finally hits App Store

After an unexplained three-day delay, Google late Monday added voice capabilities to its search application for the iPhone.

Google Mobile App 0.3.142 hit Apple's App Store, the only official online mart for iPhone software from third-party developers, on Monday, where it can be downloaded free of charge.

After launching the application, the user only needs to wait for a tone, then speaks normally into the iPhone.

In Computerworld tests, words and phrases were recognized correctly about 80 percent of the time, with the best results -- no surprise -- obtained when speaking slowly and distinctly. Still, as with any speech recognition software, Google's application sometimes thinks it "hears" something completely different from what the user intended. Although it recognized "new york times obama" and "new york times mccain" on the first try for each, it thought it heard "new york times halen" -- and put the band Van Halen as the top result of the search -- when "new york times palin" had been spoken into the iPhone.

Originally, Google Mobile App was supposed to have been posted to the App Store last Friday. That day, Google touted the application to the press and released a video demonstrating the new voice search on its own Web site as well as YouTube; later in the day, however, it yanked the video from both locations.

Another clue that it meant to launch the application last week was in the App Store itself: The release date is listed as November 14.

The new version also adds Google's "Search with My Location," a search enhancement for mobile phones that the company rolled out in mid-September. Using the iPhone's location-awareness features -- the newer 3G model uses GPS, while the original first-generation iPhone relies on a rougher estimate based on a triangulation of nearby cell towers -- Google Mobile App will, for example, narrow searches for "Italian restaurants" to the user's local area.

Google Mobile App can be downloaded directly to the iPhone or from Apple's iTunes, then transferred to the iPhone during the next sync session.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags iphone apps

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?