TechnologyTell

Fun with Google Voice Search

Sections: Email / IM, Google, Mobile, Smartphones

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I think voice recognition software has changed my life.  Since inheriting an Android smartphone from a generous, tech-savvy relative who recently upgraded, I’ve taken to using Google voice search app on the regular.  So far I’ve found it to be more accessible, versatile, and accurate than any voice recognition software I’ve ever tried, handy for a range of uses from the mundane to the mischievous.

Texting is an absolute breeze now and setting an alarm with a few words is like having a magic clock at your disposal.  When my roommate’s loud music wakes me up early on a Saturday morning I can lazily lean over, grab my phone, and text him a loving and profanity-ridden request to turn it down with my eyes half open instead of pounding on the wall like a savage.

If he, say, chooses to ignore my text(s), at least I have the consolation of spamming him with several days worth of short, surrealist stream-of-consciousness emails (he’s since created a folder in his Gmail inbox just for me; I’ve started to get around this by having bemused mutual friends forward my messages his way on my behalf).

I’ve also had a lot of fun with interfacing voice search with Google Translate.  It’s great for practicing my Spanish pronunciation and looking up the foreign words and phrases I hear around town.  I haven’t tried it with a non-English speaker directly yet, but I’m keen to see how much the language barrier between us can be superseded with this awesome power.

I should note that in public I’m much too embarrassed to be talking to my phone like it was my secretary.  The more I use it home, however, the more I find myself feeling comfortable with it generally.  When my roommates first saw me ordering my phone around, they reacted with a mixture of ridicule and awe.  This has given way mostly to mild derision, but the efficiency and fun afforded by it numbs me to the sting their jives.  Nuts to the haters, this is the future.

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