03
Jul
JB Voice Actions
Last Updated: July 5th, 2012

We non-Jelly Bean plebeians have been envious of those with access to Android 4.1 for some time now, and a recent video from JLishere provides yet another reason to be jealous. The video, a demo of the much-anticipated Google Now, shows off just how accurate JB's voice recognition can be - in fact, it was able to pick up on the subtle differences between words like 'Worcester' and 'Wooster.' It also exemplifies the impressive number of commands Now (in cooperation with the Knowledge Graph) can register - from "call the Drake Hotel" to "do a barrel roll."

Enough balderdash, though - watch the 47-question demo for yourself:

Update: 20 more questions:

One last note: as JLishere notes in the video description, the demo was performed on an early build of Jelly Bean - this, in other words, should be considered a beta feature that will only get better with time. If that doesn't leave you excited about Android's future, I don't know what will.

Jaroslav Stekl
Jaroslav Stekl is a tech enthusiast whose favorite gadgets almost always happen to be the latest Android devices. When he's not writing for Android Police, he's probably hiking, camping, or canoeing. He is also an aspiring coffee aficionado and an avid moviegoer.

  • Gloria Tortorella

    Sadly it understands me only if I speak english, with italian questions/commands it just runs a web search for everything :<
    Well, the BIG difference is that JB's voice recognition understands MY english with italian accent, and that's great :D

    • fixxmyhead

      they said its only english for now -___-

      they will add other languages later

      • Gloria Tortorella

        Yup it's known, I'm just an eager fan :D

        • JonJJon

          Just think though, if they get it right, it will be one of, if not the the best, foreign language voice actions service on mobile devices (or I suppose native language to you :P)

  • Michael Kendall

    This is very impressive!

  • https://twitter.com/#!/doomstang Doomstang

    I am highly impressed by Google Now after watching that video

  • Si

    This is Google assistant or Google search, not Google now, Google now is the cards from the bottom of the screen

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/jaroslav-stekl/ Jaroslav Stekl

      Assistant and Search are both parts of Google Now

  • Kam Siu

    last command was impressive!

  • Thomas Gires

    Not when you have a French accent and try to say Thai street names :D But close enough!

  • Steve Freeman

    Siri what?

  • http://twitter.com/branaja branaja

    I'm sad it rounds decimal numbers wrong :(

  • deacon

    wow, very impressive. can't wait until the hardware commands are activated.

  • JonJJon

    I look forward to using the voice commands a couple of times for fun (and then not really using them again) however I am more looking forward to the actual Google Now features of giving me information I might want to see without searching for it :) That looks scarily good but also much more useful for me as I'm not a big "speaking to my device except when someone is on the other end of a call" type of guy :P

    • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

      Im the "uses the hell of the 'navigate to' and 'call X'" type of guy. Seriously, its a hell of a lot quicker even with the current voice actions. This just makes that even faster.

  • SteamTrout

    While impressive I still can't see myself talking to my phone in any foreseeable future.

    • NeedName

      I thought the same thing. . . however, once you get yourself in a situation where you really need to use voice actions you learn. . . it's pretty nice. Though you might feel like an idiot doing it around a lot of people, it's great in the car, and boy does it save on typing!

    • Rui Ara├║jo

      This works without talking to your phone. You can just type the query.

    • Travis Jennings

      I will voice transcribe this post in my office just to annoy your type.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I have been searching for directions to places in Voice Actions (usually in the car, alone or with people who aren't strangers) for as long as I can remember. Wouldn't trade it for anything.

  • TPStank

    Binary FTW!

  • Zaatour36

    and this is still Beta!!

    man, i didn't like Siri/Voice Commands before, but after this, I think I change my mind :)

    Hopefully, a stable version will come so I can flash it on my GS III

    P.S. I freaking love the new Disqus, so freaking neat :D

    • cas_e

      It's not beta at all.

      • jordanjay29

        RTFA.

        • cas_e

          The article is wrong.

        • Zaatour36

          look at the last part!

          it says an "early build of Jelly Bean - this, in other words, should be considered a beta feature that will only get better with time."
          I'm freaking reading it again, did you?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Yeah, it's alpha :)

      • Zaatour36

        "early build of Jelly Bean - this, in other words, should be considered a beta feature that will only get better with time."

  • cas_e

    "We non-Jelly Bean plebeians have been envious of those with access to Android 4.1"

    You write for an Android website and you don't even have Jelly Bean yet? Seriously?

    • GK

      how is that related,does every writed for an apple website have IOS6 or every writer for microsoft have Windows 8!!

      • Ravrahn

        Probably. They should, anyway.

        • cas_e

          Exactly.

    • jordanjay29

      Probably one of the unlucky guys who DIDN'T get to go to I/O. Someone has to hold down the fort.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Not everyone has a Nexus and not everyone got into I/O. Eric, for example, has an Epic Touch, I believe.

  • Michael

    The answer to life is 42

    • jordanjay29

      Source: google.com

      Our kids are going to be SO messed up if they think Google is the source of everything in life(, the universe, and everything).

      • http://twitter.com/PCSievers P.C. Sievers

        There are big problems already in the current generation (says the 28 year old, haha) if you didnt get that reference :p

        • David Kerkes

          I just about died from excitement when the answer came up 42!

  • Michael

    anyone else think he meant stalk and not stock when he said facebook stalk?

    • Andrew

      Nope, he was talking about financial information.

  • ChumbleSpuzz

    Mmm... pizza. Fireside Pies is pretty good. Was expecting Campisi's to be at the top of the list, so it can't be all that smart. :)

  • Skillit

    Awesome !!!!

    This is the most comprehensive test of Google Now that I have seen so far and completely rapes Siri ....

  • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

    Ah. So its just like Siri except for the fact that its a hell of a lot faster, works a hell of a lot better, sounds better and does a lot more?
    Seriously though I had an iphone 4s for 4 months and Siri was a broken joke.

  • Alonso

    Can't believe how great it looks, even the "robotic" voice doesn't sound like one, I think this is the first real step into the future of voice recognition, at least Siri never impress me.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      The new Google Maps, at least on ICS, has the same voice, and it's very human.

  • Sven Enterlein

    I swear that Siri wouldn't talk to me anymore after I showed her (it?) the full video. Maybe she's hiding behind the microphone button now in shame?? I am seriously impressed with this demo especially the outlook on system function integration. It will be even easier than a toggle widget :D

  • http://twitter.com/PCSievers P.C. Sievers

    That was really impressive. If it works that well with my accent and tone I will be happy to use it pretty regularly despite being in the "voice assistants are just novelty gimmicks" crowd right now. The best ones were like the Bill Murray question where the phrasing of the question was terrible but Google Now put the pieces together.

    Edit, hopefully its knowledge d'base outside of the US is up to scratch too, that is one of the huge problems of most of the current voice assistant apps.

  • numpty

    I do hope this talking to phones thing is just a passing fad. It's bad enough having to listen to half-conversations in every bus, train and public toilet without having to hear people repeatedly bark misunderstood instructions at their phones too.

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    I heard a great quote the other day...

    "If your name isn't Google, you don't know everything"

    Clearly Google knows about Life and the Universe as well ;)

    Yeah, this may not have immediately followed or preceded Siri, but it sure does trump it in every way. Google Now really is the thing that will drive people to Android. I'd say this will be the new killer feature, much in the way that Navigation was the killer feature in the early days.

  • kefs

    So.. I'm not sure if anyone is actually noticing this, but this isn't Google Now.

    This article is about the enhanced Google Search with Knowledge Graph (and yes, it does kick Siri's ass). If you re-watch the IO12 keynote (links below), you'll see that this article and video are talking about Google Search. Further in the video, Google Now is introduced, and is clearly something you 'don't search for, it just knows'. You don't ask Google Now anything, you simple swipe-up on the JellyBean homescreen to view your Google Now cards that have been amassed for you based on searches you've done in the past/what Google knows about you. This, in itself, is a killer app.. and no other platform has anything even remotely close to Google Now. But, sadly, this article is not about Google Now, it is about Google Search. How about an article on the actual Google Now. :)

    Android 4.1 Google Search: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuC0i4xTyrI&hd=1&t=20m30s
    Android 4.1 Google Now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuC0i4xTyrI&hd=1&t=23m50s

    Sorry for the rant, it's just that this article has been picked up by a ton of sites, and it is completely incorrect. I would love to see some actual real-world Google Now tests.. It's one-of-a-kind and will be the new swipe-up action on the generation of Android... and I can't wait.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Well, I'd still argue that the new Google search + voice output by the new more human voice + Knowledge Graph is a huge part of the Now app and the whole experience. But I do see your point.

      Still, none of the above was possible in Android Google search before Google Now - the ability to listen to responses or get stock quotes by just saying G.O.O.G., for instance.

  • ARB

    Fantastic...

  • Colin Richardson

    I see the new music player is still very laggy even on other peoples phones.. I want to go back to the Gingerbread music player.. May not be pretty, but it was quick.

  • http://smart-talk-phones.com/

    That was really impressive

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