Google launches Voice Actions for Android, Chrome to Phone

Google has announced a new voice recognition application and an app which allows users to send content with one click to phones running Android 2.2 -- both of which are available for download now -- at a press event in San Francisco earlier today.

The voice recognition app, dubbed 'Voice Actions' by Google and available for download now, allows users to speak actions into their Android smartphone and even dictate messages and emails simply by speaking. While many other devices, including the popular iPhone (although commands supported leave much to be desired), offer voice recognition features, Voice Actions has perhaps the most comprehensive offerings, with current actions available including:

  • send text to [contact] [message]
  • listen to [artist/song/album]
  • call [business]
  • call [contact]
  • send email to [contact] [message]
  • go to [website]
  • note to self [note]
  • navigate to [location/business name]
  • directions to [location/business name]
  • map of [location]

All voice proccessing is done on Google's servers rather than the phone, with the upcoming Motorola Droid 2 to become the first phone to have the application pre-installed when it ships. Those with a Nexus One device that has been updated to Android 2.2 can download the application from the Android Marketplace now, although support is limited to US English for the moment. Google says more languages will be available "soon".

The Chrome to Phone extension meanwhile allows users who browse the web using Google's own web browser, Chrome, to with just one click send the current web page they are on, a map, YouTube video, or even selected phone number or text over-the-air to their Android phone - which must be running the latest version of Android, 2.2 (or code-named Froyo).

Earlier speculation that Google may have announced better support for video calling for Android, to rival Apple's FaceTime application, proved false, with the search giant choosing to reserve any such announcements for a later date - perhaps October, when Android 3.0 is widely expected to be unveiled.

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