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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hidden commands hint at Android Voice Actions future?

Last week Google introduced an update for its Voice Search app on Android that allowed users to control certain features of their phone using their voice.  Voice dialling has been around a long time on phones, though for the most part failed to work. One of the best efforts was with Motorola on its K1 and some subsequent handsets. Google takes this one step further though including letting users dictate text messages and email.

Even though this feature was supposedly only introduced recently (previous versions were just for creating a Google search), I had been able to use the “Call” command to phone contacts, suggesting that Google sometimes includes functions in its apps it doesn’t let us know about, perhaps for testing purposes. With the new update I have found another command not listed that shows some functionality can already be built in to the Voice Actions.

Out of curiosity I tried getting the phone to do different tasks such as opening apps and found a command, “Set Alarm” that is recognised although not fully functional. After saying “Set Alarm” and a time my HTC Desire worked is magic and came up saying I needed to download the latest version of Googles clock from the App Market. On clicking the link I was diverted to a page that said this function was not currently available, but is being worked on. So what other hidden features does Google have buried in Android?

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