June 9, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
What a day to be European. Not only are you probably from one of the nations favored to win the World Cup, but you’ve also been granted access to Google Maps Navigation. And to make things even sweeter, Google has added support for Search by Voice using your native tongue.
French, German, Italian, and Spanish speakers can now say “Salut! Willkommen” Benvenuto! or Bienvenido!” as Google puts it in the blog post announcing the new feature. Speakers of these languages with compatible phones (Android 1.6 or higher) will now be able to deliver search prompts with a few simple words.
Google has been working for several months to implement these features into non-English tongues, and says its committed to doing the same for more languages and dialects. It will be challenging considering that voice recognition technology – and plenty of humans – have a difficult time distinguishing between the accents of a man from Manchester and a man from Miami. Google claims it’s working to fix that.
Here’s Google’s explanation of how to use the new feature.
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.
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.