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August 16th, 2010

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08:42 pm - Android voice commands
Since IO, I have been waiting for the voice command features that was supposed to be in froyo. When I got my froyo update I was a little disappointed that it had no voice commands.

But last week, the new voice commands came to live! I think this is a huge leap forward in mobile computing, because let's face it, the biggest problem with mobile devices is the limited ability of input to them, this is because the keyboards are usually clunky at best and the touch screen.... no matter how well they are, still are unreliable. So having voice commands is just great.
I was quite impressed with Androids previous voice recognition abilities when typing emails or any other text input in general, but marrying it with commands just brings us a huge way of interacting with our phones. You can find and search a contact off the internet, then call them in one command. Navigate to a location, search for music... the possibilities are endless.

In my opinion this is the main feature that puts Android above the crowed. The iPhone with it's greatness as a gadget, has mostly failed to become anything beyond a gadget despite being on the market for almost 3 years now. The Android on the other hand is marrying Google's superior web services with the phone, and this will certainly compensate for Android's less than ideal user interface. The future is in providing web services for mobile devices, because the device is usually not powerful enough to process large amounts of data.
I highly doubt that any of the other competition will have a similar service, because there are no major players with reliable voice recognition services. I could think of Dragon Naturally Speaking and they might as well be an aqcuisition target for Apple, but I tried their software and I don't think it has moved much since I worked on it during the Corel days, which means it is really no match for Google's voice recognition.
Microsoft has some interesting systems in the works that can pose a serious competition to Google's, I have seen few lab works when they did real time translation, so it can be of some use, but I have not seen any production ready product from that.... So we will have to wait and see if Windows Phone will have a solid competition that integrates these voice recognition services.

In any case, mobile computing has moved to a while different level.

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