Google Mobile App with Voice Search
Voice recognition for Americans and impersonators.
- Voice search functionality, location-based searching, Google Maps and Google Earth apps integrated
- Poor integration with other Google Apps, voice search functionality isn’t comprehensive
The latest update to Google Mobile App brings with it a party trick that is sure to get everyone excited at first. But after using it for a while, Voice Search is not particularly useful except for wowing friends.
When we reviewed the original Mobile App for the iPhone, we found it to be little more than a supplementary search engine app, providing minimal integration with Google’s bevy of applications. Not too much has changed with the new version. There has been a layout change and a graphical facelift, and the addition of Voice Search makes the new version somewhat worthwhile.
Anyone who used the original Google Mobile App won’t find anything particularly startling about the updated version at first glance. Even the app’s version number — 0.3.142 — doesn’t evoke revolutionary change, though it does fit in with Google’s love for beta software.
The app still retains the location-based searching that made it worth the download in the first place. Google’s other Web-based applications are also available through the Mobile App. However, apart from Google Earth and Maps, which open into their respective applications, clicking on an app simply brings up the relevant Web page in Safari. Tighter integration along the lines of the Google Earth link — with each app installed separately — would definitely bolster the app’s appeal.
The new Google Mobile App’s party trick is Voice Search. Similar technology has been prototyped and tested on the iPhone by Dragon NaturallySpeaking makers Nuance; one of the engineers on Google’s Voice Search was in fact a co-founder of Nuance.
The idea behind Voice Search is quite simple — eradicate the need for typing in Google Mobile App by adding voice recognition, which, presumably, provides the same result with less hassle to the user. Unfortunately, Google seems to have only taken North America into account during development. As a result, it will only accurately recognise English searches in a North American accent. Though the results aren’t as hilarious as they are rumoured to be for British users, Australian users will still be unable to properly use the function without having to put on a cheesy faux American accent.
Even when Voice Search does recognise the user’s voice properly, search results are presented in Google’s traditional mobile layout, rather than the iPhone-optimised layout. As result, searches aren’t separated into location-based and general search queries. This can still be achieved by altering the query manually, but this defeats the whole purpose of Voice Search in the first place.
Ultimately, both the Google Mobile App and its Voice Search functionality are half-baked products that still require testing and modification to reach an acceptable standard.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 2 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 3 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 4 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 5 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft shows the power of its Pen with a new Whiteboard app and other upgrades
- Windows 10 S will not run Linux, even though it's a downloadable Windows app
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
- Microsoft redesigns OneNote UI to make it more universally accessible
- Windows 10 Insider build 16199 fills some holes in the Creators Update
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTSupport OfficerSA
- CCJava DeveloperACT
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Learning & Teaching environmentVIC
- CCTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTDigital ProducerNSW
- FTManager, DevOpsQLD
- TPDigital Business AnalystNSW
- FTPHP / WordPress DeveloperQLD
- FTIT Systems EngineerQLD
- TPIT Support AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Microwave Transmission EngineerNSW
- TPSenior Web DeveloperQLD
- CCChange AnalystNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst - ImprovementQLD
- FTChange & Communications AnalystQLD
- FTSalesforce ConsultantQLD
- TPAV Design Specialist - Newcastle BasedNSW
- FTTechnology Project ManagerNSW
- FTSenior DBANSW
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- FTLead Senior Systems Engineer | 90 - 120K + Super|VIC
- FTHCM Project Manager & Service Implementation Manager - SAP HRNSW
- FTEnterprise Architect - Network and TelecommunicationsNSW
- TPInstructional DesignerVIC