Google unveiled a powerful new feature for the Android platform Thursday, Voice Actions. As the name implies, Voice Actions allow Android users to control many features of their smartphone with their voice, dictate text messages and e-mails, call businesses that Google can find, and even find music.
In the YouTube video below, the company demonstrates these features, but the key thing we want to emphasize is that Google has implemented a way to use Voice Actions not just for the features and content that are on your phone, but things that Google can find.
For instance, Apple’s iPhone allows users to call contacts with voice commands, but Voice Actions will go and search for a business through Google Maps, find the phone number, and then make the call for you. Such a feature won’t always be accurate, of course, but it’s a killer feature.
The same goes for music, with Voice Actions allows users to say “Listen to The Decemberists.” The service will then find The Decemberists online and play them through whatever apps will support it (Pandora, Last.fm, etc.).
The demo also includes examples of dictating e-mails and text messages, find images, and more.
Voice Actions are limited to Android phones that run Android 2.2 and later, and the company said it is shipping on Droid 2 models.
Google Voice Actions Promo Video
Thanks to TechCrunch for the heads up on the video.