Google upgrading Voice Search

Google Mobile App

The new version of Google’s Voice Search debuted at a press launch in San Francisco. The company unveiled a version of the voice-based search app for its Android software earlier this year. Google also said a new version of its web search that integrates its Gmail service with its search engine to personalise the results of everyday searches would also become available soon.

The new version of Google’s search app for the iPhone and iPad will let users find information about everything from the weather to nearby movie showings by speaking into the devices and reciting answers to search results in a human sounding voice, similar to Siri. Google said the technology behind the two new options – what it calls its Knowledge Graph – was an initial effort to extend search engines’ understanding of the world beyond keywords, so they can better recognise what the user is really looking for.

Engineers said the company’s search engine now “knows” half a billion real-world objects and 3.5 billion connections among those objects. Rather than simply provide ranked lists of other pages with the information it thinks the user is seeking, the search engine will try to extract and condense that information from elsewhere on the web in a user-friendly format. This means a search for the weather should result in the forecast being displayed in a use able format, rather than having to click on a link, while asking for a particular video could bring it up and start it playing.

The app answered quickly and clearly, though in a voice that sounded slightly more robotic and stilted than Siri’s, according to The enhanced version of Google Voice Search is already available on Android 4.1 and it will become available to iOS users within a few days, but users of older versions of Android are not yet catered for.

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