Google Voice Search expansion
Voice recognition software has taken another big step forward with the news that Google has added a further 13 languages to Voice Search.
For some time, users have been able to carry out verbal searches on their Android smartphones and tablets - as long as they speak one of the most common languages like English, French or Spanish. However, Google has just put the finishing touches to an update that will see 13 smaller European languages supported. These are Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Portuguese, Finnish, Galician, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak and Swedish.
100 million potential users
Google claims that an extra 100 million people will now be able to use Google Voice Search. And it brings the total number of supported languages up to 42. This gives the tool an even greater edge over Siri - Apple's much-hyped voice recognition software - which currently only responds to English, French, German and Japanese.
Rollout of this enhanced version of Voice Search has already begun, with Google indicating that it will be introduced gradually over the next week. Android users who want to try it out for themselves can download the free Google Play app. Alternatively, those running Android 2.2 onwards will be able to access it straight away via the Google Search widget.
Daniel Nolan, managing director at theEword, said: "Voice recognition is a hot topic in technology circles, with many predicting that it'll overtake typing to become the primary way of searching the web in future. Google's decision to increase the total number of supported languages on Voice Search gives it a huge competitive advantage over Apple's Siri in this fast-emerging market."