Google has just announced the availability of Google Voice Search in a number of other languages, namely; French, German, Italian and Spanish.
The other languages join English, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese in bringing voice to text search available on Android, iPhone, Nokia and Blackberry.
The Internet giant highlights the fact that it spends weeks collecting and tweaking its voice search application to ensure it works with a variety of accents, across the scope of devices and stacked full of vocabulary.
Google plans to bring Voice Search to every language on the planet.
So how do you get started? According to Google:
If your phone runs Android 2.1 or later, and you have the Quick Search Box installed, all you have to do is tap the microphone icon to start a voice-powered search. iPhone and BlackBerry users who already have Google Mobile App installed can enable voice search by selecting the new languages from the settings panel within the app.
If you have Android 1.6 or 2.1 (Donut or Eclair), and you have already installed the Search by voice application, starting later today voice search will return recognition results for French, German, Italian or Spanish if your phone has one of those languages chosen in ‘Language and keyboard’ settings. If you do not have the Search by voice application, you can install it from Android Market on your phone – search for ‘voice search‘. This application is only available in the Android Markets for France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
To get Google Mobile App for iPhone, search for ‘Google Mobile App’ in the App Store or follow this link. BlackBerry and Nokia S60 users should visit m.google.com using their phone’s browser.
I personally don’t use Voice Search all too often, frankly it’s just a little awkward to talk into your phone when there’s no one actually on the other end – hopefully we’ll break that barrier in time. That said, thanks to Google Search’s in-built ability to translate certain words or phrases into other languages, this is definitely helpful when you’re out and about in a foreign country (try searching “translate how are you into french“).
Nice but all of that fails in comparison to voice to text (or voice to voice) translation – especially when it turns real time. Yes, there are apps out there but nothing quite integrated enough.
Google is reportedly working on it however. According to Times Online, Google is developing a speech-to-speech automated translator for Android phones. Essentially a combination of two of Google’s existing technologies; its online universal translator service, Google Translate, and its voice recognition system.