Google may be working on Siri-like feature for Android

Apple's Siri natural voice recognition feature in its iPhone 4S smartphone has certainly gotten a lot of media attention. It's even starting to enter into pop culture. Now there's a new rumor that Google is working on its own natural voice recognition feature for its Android mobile operating system. Android and Me reports via unnamed sources that this new feature is being designed as the next step in the already released Voice Actions features for Android.

In the new version, the feature will be able to respond to more varied and natural voice commands. Currently, the Voice Actions feature only responds to specific voice commands. It will also allow for Google search commands.

According to the story, the new Android voice recognition feature has an interesting code name: Majel. The late Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, wife of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, played voice of the computer on board all Federation starships, including the various versions of the Enterprise, throughout the history of the TV show and movies.

The story claims that Majel could be released for Android users as early as the end of 2011, although it adds that a release in January or February of 2012 is more likely at this point. Naturally, Google has yet to officially comment on this new rumor.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Speculation continues that Microsoft will buy Nokia's phone divison

Next Story

Lumia 800 gets Dark Knight Rises special edition

39 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Didn't Apple buy siri from some company and then claim it their own? Also It's too bad android does not have a proper equivalent for siri, my voice recognition needs improvement!

why after login to neowin it always beams me up to the forum page?? that's besides the point.
I say why don't people start talking to people for a change and not to some dumbass device??
the human kind is becoming lazier and lazier as we speak.
all these communication devices should make people more communicative but when they meet in person can speak a coherent sentence... they miss all the emoticons.
Siri is a great tool, but why not make it into a greater tool for the human society? Google and Micro$hit should join in and do something together for this going down the crapper society.
Profit is a good purpose for corporations until at some point.
Enough said... now you can call me a troll or something.. thanks for reading!

Apple has copied (and will copy) ideas from Android OS. for example, on iphone 4s u can actually drag down the taskbar and see your notifications, just like android. So Apple fans please STFU!

R-Metal said,
Apple has copied (and will copy) ideas from Android OS. for example, on iphone 4s u can actually drag down the taskbar and see your notifications, just like android. So Apple fans please STFU!

T....R.......O..........L.......................L

R-Metal said,
Apple has copied (and will copy) ideas from Android OS. for example, on iphone 4s u can actually drag down the taskbar and see your notifications, just like android. So Apple fans please STFU!

Then again, Google copied pretty much the entire touch-friendly mobile OS analogy from Apple. Just to put it in perspective.

This is nice and all, and people on either side of the Great War of Mobile Operating Systems That's More Important Than All Other Issues In the Universe of the 21st Century™ will demonstrate their masturbatory levels of snark, disdain, and fanboy pride alike.

As for me, at best this will wind up just like Siri: a hyped tool that nobody will use seriously.

Joshie said,
This is nice and all, and people on either side of the Great War of Mobile Operating Systems That's More Important Than All Other Issues In the Universe of the 21st Century™ will demonstrate their masturbatory levels of snark, disdain, and fanboy pride alike.

As for me, at best this will wind up just like Siri: a hyped tool that nobody will use seriously.

I disagree. It may not be perfect right now, but it's the foundation of what this product is going to be after more development. I am impressed with this software and look forward to what they do to it in the future.

notta said,

I disagree. It may not be perfect right now, but it's the foundation of what this product is going to be after more development. I am impressed with this software and look forward to what they do to it in the future.


Maybe, but it's all speculation right now. All we can be sure of is that predictions about technology are never spot on. We have lofty visions and goals, and those are met with the realities of economics, fickle markets, and other unexpected technological advances that ripple into the market, all bringing us into a final 'compromised' state of the art that's vaguely reminiscent of where we thought we'd be, but never quite it.

Not that visions are a bad thing. They're what drive us to better compromises. We just can't be so full of ourselves that we think we know what's coming. Technology is always bigger than the initiatives of one or two companies.

Most of you people are idiots. "Apple is first, google is copying!" "Siri doesn't really work, but google's will." Blah f'n blah. Here is the bottom line to this. Google trying to produce a siri competitor is awesome. All it does is gives people choice. It makes the other company or companies do better. I hope MS joins in this too. In this fight there is only "one" winner though. That is the customer. Stop calling people stupid for what device they use, it may be the best device for that person at the time. Its all about choice, let it stay that way and stop with the "The company I like is better than whatever you like." Grow the eff up.

EmbraceNext said,
Most of you people are idiots. "Apple is first, google is copying!" "Siri doesn't really work, but google's will." Blah f'n blah. Here is the bottom line to this. Google trying to produce a siri competitor is awesome. All it does is gives people choice. It makes the other company or companies do better. I hope MS joins in this too. In this fight there is only "one" winner though. That is the customer. Stop calling people stupid for what device they use, it may be the best device for that person at the time. Its all about choice, let it stay that way and stop with the "The company I like is better than whatever you like." Grow the eff up.

Well said. I use an android phone, and a co worker of mine who i'm almost like friends with uses an iphone. We both agree its stupid when people put down others because of their phone. Its stupid and pointless. Grow up people.

vlingo doesn't count, its not a natural speech package. It also sucks not being able to play albums/tracks.

SpeakToit is closer but they need to get it to respond to bluetooth start listening commands and use the bluetooth mic.

I havn't tried Iris or Omega yet though.

It seems like every week Google announces plans to try to compete with some new competitor (often someone who was a partner just the day before, or evenon whose board you sit) whether it's Facebook with Google+, Amazon with Google Wallet, Groupon with Google Offers, or even Firefox with Chrome.

How many times does Google feel like proving this statement by Microsoft's Shaw in one week?

OH no, here come the MAC fannies.. another COPIED feature from the iPhonies.. oh boy!

Yeah and car manufacturers.. I supposed they are all copy cats because vehicles have 4 wheels, a steering wheel and a trunk too right?

rijp said,
OH no, here come the MAC fannies.. another COPIED feature from the iPhonies.. oh boy!

Yeah and car manufacturers.. I supposed they are all copy cats because vehicles have 4 wheels, a steering wheel and a trunk too right?

actually some vehicles don't have four wheels nor do some vehicles have a trunk so funnily enough your analogy is actually flawed

rijp said,
OH no, here come the MAC fannies.. another COPIED feature from the iPhonies.. oh boy!

What has Media Access Control to do with anything? Your post is one big pileup of fail.

OMG!!! This is incredible! I didn't know Majel was dead, but not being a trekkie I guess it could have easily slipped by

rippleman said,
according to Andriod Fanboys, they had this long time ago.

Had voice recognition, of which Siri is an improvement and this is again going to be another improvement from the sounds of it

Teebor said,

Had voice recognition, of which Siri is an improvement and this is again going to be another improvement from the sounds of it

Siri is not an improvement on voice recognition. It is an improvement on taking input and not just returning a flat definition, but actually returning answers to open ended questions. The voice recognition part of it is at best a gimmick, granted a rather good one. All it doesn't it converts what is said to text which is then processed. It would be just as good and impressive to use if you put your queries in as text.

[HEADING]

Google working may be working on.......
[HEADING]

Really? It is a very humble request to be please very careful regarding spellings, misplaced words, and all.....

P.S. It's not my hobby to point out mistakes. It's just that it gets too difficult to ignore and not point out once I have spotted it!!

Mohitster said,
[HEADING] [HEADING]

Really? It is a very humble request to be please very careful regarding spellings, misplaced words, and all.....

P.S. It's not my hobby to point out mistakes. It's just that it gets too difficult to ignore and not point out once I have spotted it!!

Ja das ist wahr!

Mohitster said,
[HEADING] [HEADING]

Really? It is a very humble request to be please very careful regarding spellings, misplaced words, and all.....

P.S. It's not my hobby to point out mistakes. It's just that it gets too difficult to ignore and not point out once I have spotted it!!

Google working is a divison of Google which actually works on stuff rather then buys out patents and software, didn't you know that?

3dfxman said,
awesome, maybe it will actually work, unlike apples lol.
I doubt that, its android, nothing completely works.

3dfxman said,
awesome, maybe it will actually work, unlike apples lol.

I agree! I had my first test of Siri in an orange shop the other day and I asked it "What is the best smartphone" and it just sat there loading and loading and loading... then I just slowly walked away from the display phone.

3dfxman said,
awesome, maybe it will actually work, unlike apples lol.

I am by no means and Apple fanboy, but these type of comments annoy the hell out of me. Where does Apple's voice not work? It works perfectly. The funny thing is, voice has been around on all phones for years but nobody ever used it because they were all crap. Now that Apple has released a product that is an actual usable version other copycats want to make it a priority. Just another case of follow the leader.

onedrummer2401 said,
@notta
WP7 mango has great voice recognition and it came before siri/isn't a BETA product.

Um.. do you even READ the article or just like replying when its clear you do not know what you are talking about.. Phones have had voice command for years, even the palm pilot had it YEARS ago.

That's not the issue.. Apple has a feature that you can talk to your phone, like find me a coffee shop. It's not merely going to the web and typing what you said... it thinks about what you WANT and shows you.. based on natural speaking.

If you talk to your friends and say where do you want to eat, they don't google "where do you want to eat" in a browser and show you a page.. they figure out what you are saying and give suggestions.. THATS the difference.

You aren't merely commanding your phone, dunder head, you are telling your phone to locate a coffee shop.. find me a coffee shop actually returns a Starbucks listing where you can get coffee not a yellow pages with coffee shops! If you want chinese food it doesn't reply with a list of chinese restaurants.. it actually DOES a search and gives the most relevant to what you were looking for.

Windows 7 mobile does NOT do that either, its the same voice recognition as every other phone, it accepts commands but it does NOT interpret what you are saying.

Ently said,

I agree! I had my first test of Siri in an orange shop the other day and I asked it "What is the best smartphone" and it just sat there loading and loading and loading... then I just slowly walked away from the display phone.

That's probably more to do with Orange's ****ty network. What were you doing in an Orange shop anyway?!

rijp said,

really? Mine works fine, maybe you are an idiot.. if you don't like the Droid give it someone that does, and feel free to use something else, twit.


Maybe you just have lower standards, which is totally okay.

onedrummer2401 said,
@notta
WP7 mango has great voice recognition and it came before siri/isn't a BETA product.

The difference of course being that the WP7 one is voice commands and dictation.
Before Siri the iPhone already had voice commands, it was added in iOS 3.0.

With 5.0 they added Siri and dictation. Siri isnt using normal voice commands, it's natural language interpretation, the importance of this being that it's not just looking for specific keywords, it's also, at least to some degree, able to understand the context of a sentence. Then there is of course the fact that you can ask it a question and get an answer rather than just use it to google.