Google Launches its Voice-Based Search on iPhone, G1 Must Wait

Google has done it again! They’ve launched a voice based search for the iPhone and the free app is rumoured to be available on the App store, at least some time soon.  Maybe today.   The engineers at Google have added the voice recognition technology to their search algorithm, which only needs you to just whisper your key word in to the iPhone and, lo and behold, you have your search results. On a fast wireless network you can have them in a jiffy!

Users of the free application, which Apple is expected to make available as soon as Friday through its iTunes store, can place the phone to their ear and ask virtually any question,like “Where’s the nearest Starbucks?” or “How tall is Mount Everest?” The sound is converted to a digital file and sent to Google’s servers, which try to determine the words spoken andpass them along to the Google search engine. – John Markoff, NYTimes

The app comes in to play when one has to search for any landmark or directions. This isn’t the first voice based offering from Google and not for a pint the first in the world. Microsoft and Yahoo already have their own voice based services for mobiles. According to John Markoff, the Googles’ version is far from perfect and at times returns queries that tend to be gibberish.

What’s interesting is that Google has launched the voice based search for the iPhone rather than the G1. Google could well keep the new technology for itself that could shoot up the sales of the G1 exponentially. But Google has decided to go with the iPhone first. Google executives admitted that this could result in more ad revenues especially from the local businesses for the location-based services.

The first speech offering from Google was in March, the GOOG-411 which enables users to evoke their business contacts. The iPhone service was partly inspired on the experience with GOOG-411.

So, Google has added one more cap to the iPhone which is already brimming with all its virtues that make it the world’s best selling smart phone.

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  1. Fantastic! Another reason to question why I bought the G1. May as well have bought an iPhone… I wonder when Google will actually start supporting their own OS and make it worth while for us poor unfortunate saps who were early adopters of Android.

  2. Likely what has happened here is that there are 3 different groups working on this technology at Google.

    1) Backend (Service components and API). This is where all the work is done for voice recognission, etc. and is reusable across any platform.
    2) The Google iphone team (Implementing VR for the iphone)
    3) The Android team (Implementing VR for the Android)

    The Android team is definitely bigger and better funded then the iphone team, but lets face it, they are VERY BUSY right now. They are working on core functionality.

    Things in big companies work that way. It is not feasable to take their smaller iphone team and tell them to create an android app. No, they just plod along at their own pace cranking out iphone apps.

    Really, Google has built a lot more software for android then for the iphone…

  3. I think the unfortunate reality here is that Google doesn’t make any money on G1 sales. They give away their OS for free. They really don’t have any direct reason to want Android to succeed over the iPhone. They made Android in the hopes it would convince more people to use the web on their phones.

    When people use the web, Google makes money. There is really no reason for them to care if people are doing it on the iPhone or the G1, and right now iPhone has a larger install base so it makes more sense for them to focus their efforts there.

  4. JustA, I agree with you… the PMs of both groups need to work together more I think. There’s definitely some one upsmanship going on as well… but, I still think they should have launched with at least as good aps on Android than iPhone, and there should be some cool stuff for us G1 users that Apple users shouldn’t get!

  5. Gutted. Bought iphone an took it right back when I tried to get a pic sent thru bluetoot.
    h. Realised after moving to G1 that it doesn’t have proper bluetooth either, HOWEVER there was the promise of it. Well now my friends are showing me brilliant apps like google earth on their bleedin iphone. WTF is goin on? The apps on g1 are trvial, repetetive sillyness. Why oh why are iphone users being rewarded but android are left wondering why they bothered

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