As promised, Google has released an update for its Search for iOS app that adds Google Now-like voice recognition. The new voice recognition feature also remind us a lot of Siri. Users can perform tasks like “asking for the weather in a natural way and it will provide results,” Google explained.
You just need to tap the microphone icon and ask your question, the same way you’d ask a friend. For example, ask “What movies are playing this weekend?” and you’ll see your words streamed back to you quickly as you speak. Then Google will show you a list of the latest movies in theaters near you, with schedules and even trailers. It works for everything from celebrity factoids to the height of Kilamanjaro and more. When Google can supply a direct answer to your question, you’ll get a spoken response too.
Google Now, what Google’s iOS’ voice feature is built off of, was formally introduced in Google’s latest Android OS, Jelly Bean. Google Now looks for repeated user patterns, including calendar appointments and location, to provide users with more relevant information. I find it more useful than Siri and others have agreed. Now iOS users have a Siri alternative, especially for users on older versions as far back as iOS 4.3.
- Simply say what you want and get results without typing.
- Faster and significantly improved voice recognition with text streamed on the fly.
- Get answers spoken directly back to you with web results tailored to your questions.
- Want to see types of questions that work well? Visit http://google.com/support/mobile/?p=gsa_voice.
The update took a lot longer to reach users then hoped. When it announced the update in August, Google said the update would hit “in a couple days.” However, close to a month later Google said it had not heard anything from Apple. It’s finally available today — no word on what the delay was (though we speculated earlier).
You can grab the update on the iTunes App Store.