10
Sep
gvv

Google Search is a really handy feature, but are you using its voice features to the fullest? Probably not, unless you're Jean-Louis Nguyen. This YouTube user posted a video last year showing off everything Google Voice Search was capable of, but that was early on. Google Search has evolved a lot in the past year, and Nguyen got in touch to let us know there's a new demo video. It's over 10 minutes of voice search queries, many of which you probably didn't know were possible.

The video starts by showing off the conversational search features Google talked about back at I/O. You can string queries together, referencing the last result in your question. Google Search is smart enough to figure out what you mean. My favorite example is when Nguyen asks about Thanksgiving, then follows it up with, "I meant the Canadian one." Google immediately corrects itself. We also get some demos of reminder functionality, flight search, and some more Google tricks like pulling up a calculator and finding nutritional data. The personal photo search is also kind of amazing.

This video has been re-shared by a number of Googlers in the last week, who seem pleased someone is taking note of all their hard work. At the end he also uses Utter to trigger hotword searches, but Google Voice Search is the main feature. Give it a watch and you'll probably see something new.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Tom

    Well yeah if it actually worked in other languages as well that would be great -_- Dutch for instance: google now understand you but doesn't show these nice widgets.

    • Thomas Gladdines

      yeah same here >.>

    • Vibrunazo

      That's why I leave my phone in english. It sucks at spelling names of local streets in navigation. I laugh my ass off every time I hear "turn left at [americanized name that make no sense]". But the fact that I can actually use voice search makes up for it ^^

      But yea, hope they bring it to more languages quick :)

    • Joris Griffioen

      Another problem then is that it doesn't understand contacts names. I too leave it in english though .. and laugh my ass off in the car ;)

      • Tom

        hahaha! :P

      • Shaun

        You are able to add phonetic names to your contact using speech-to-text. Google Now searches these phonetic names when you speak a command. I haven't tried this out thoroughly, but worked for the one contact I tried.

  • NF

    The thanksgiving one was the most impressive. I suppose its because that's the closest example in the video to a fully aware computer, understanding exactly what you want.

    There are a lot of neat things that Google has added in the last year, and I do find myself talking to my tablet quite a bit because of the novelty factor. It's so cool to talk to it and get an answer back. Will it every wear off? Probably not.

    • ari_free

      I like how it doesn't try to have a 'personality.'

    • bprichard

      That one certainly surprised me! Very impressive.

  • Jose Torres

    I assume he's using a Moto X since he prompts search just by saying "Google!". If it isn't then why is this feature not on my phone?!?!?!

    • Sean

      "At the end he also uses Utter to trigger hotword searches"

    • Joshua

      Check your settings. Search has always accepted the "Google!" hotword to initiate a voice command. The X just allows you to do that from a locked screen, if I remember correctly.

      • Mechanaiacal

        Yeah it has, if your language is set to "English - US". Extremely frustrating.

      • Jose Torres

        Yeah, search is prompted off the lock screen. I didn't know I can use "Google" as a hot word!!!

        • Freak4Dell

          He was also using utter!, which lets you activate Voice Search from anywhere using a hotword. However, I think there was a spot where it pulled up the search app, and I don't know how he did that (it didn't do it any of the times towards the end when he was focusing on showing off utter!).

      • Danny Holyoake

        Only if you're American.

    • Kevin

      At the very end it states it's demoed on a Nexus 4 running Paranoid Android.

    • Vibrunazo

      He clearly says it's a Nexus 4. All of that works on mine.

    • remister

      After a search from Google now, you can just say Google or even from the main Google Now screen it says, you can say Google and it will do a search.

    • JLishere

      Hi. To clarify, the phone is a Nexus 4. The trigger 'Google' was made from the homescreen, not the lockscreen. Currently, this is only possible on the Moto X, or any Android phone that has Utter Beta for Android installed (specifically, the wake up feature that always listens in the background).

  • GP

    Did not actually work for me. Is there a particular setting for these to work this way? Also, how do you start google plus by simply saying google?

    • Moeen Ahmed

      Download a app called Utter. its still in beta but works a treat

      https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.brandall.nutter

    • Kenny O

      Don't get too attached to using Utter, unless you have a charger hooked up to your phone. It works amazing, but it kills battery way too fast to use.

      • james kendall

        I have not used utter in a while as frankly it was a battery eating whore at times i just had enough with it and uninstalled it. currently i use my phones programmable button to fire the google now voice intent thing.

  • Tamadrummer94

    You can't call that anything but amazing. And I'm an iOS user.

  • Stephen Sagers

    At 54 seconds, what is that ocean live wallpaper?

  • jsk225

    Is there a way to use audible alarms with Google Now reminders? It doesn't do me a lot of good if I get a weak vibration or an on-screen notification as I walk past the supermarket where I was supposed to buy milk. I've read that you can use Light Flow, but for the life of me I can't figure out how.

    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      Yeah - this. We have to choose between quiet one-time reminders, or loud alarms that we also have to manually swipe away later.

  • Vibrunazo

    Got me at "Where's my car?". Is that a Utter only thing? How do you set it up? And how does it even work? Is it using activity recognition to check last time you were driving or something?

    • JLishere

      That's a built-in feature of Utter. You say 'I parked my car' to save your current location in the background. Then 'Where's my car' to open that location in Street View/Maps. Activity recognition is still a bit inaccurate, so right now, Utter doesn't save it automatically. However, it's still a quick and convenient way to save your parking location without opening any app.

  • phyl0x

    none of the google+ photo commands seem to work for me, do you need a folder labeled what you're searching for. Tried to replicate the "show me photos of my cat" thing, but used my dog, i got random google images from the web.

    • JLishere

      Currently, personal search only works on google.com. In the app settings > privacy, you must enable 'search on google.com instead of your local domain'. And of course, 'personal search' needs to be enabled too. As a test, go to Google+ on a desktop, open your Photos, then try a keyword 'dog' again. If you get results on desktop, the same will work on your Android, as long as the two settings above are enabled.

  • Danny Holyoake

    The majority of these STILL haven't made it to English UK, but it's nice to see most of them have.

    Also, is it just me or is the 'play music' voice control absolutely awful? Is there no way to tell it to just play an album from the beginning? I say "Play Take to the Skies". It shows me the exact album I mean for it to play, but then when it loads Play music it plays 'Take to the sky' by Tori Amos. So, I say "Play Take to the Skies by Enter Shikari'. again, Google Now shows me the album I want, but Play Music still plays Tori Amos. The stupidest thing is, it SHOWS me the album I want in the search results in Play Music, but still plays Tori Amos.

    Google has a LONG way to go to become even half as functional, even a quarter as easy to use, as Siri. It's just a confusing mess right now.

  • Alexander Rybalchenko

    When I ask the first question about the population of Chicago, I see just links to Wiki and other websites, not the chart. Why?

  • FrillArtist

    I knew all of this except the one about "I meant the Canadian one". That was the only impressive one.

    One of my favorites I like to try is.

    Who is the President of USA?
    How old is he?
    How many children does he have?
    Is he married?
    How long has he been married?
    Where did his wife go to school?
    How old is she?

    Google gets every single one of them right.

  • Jill Brehon

    Using Google Now in US English, how can I force it to give me results orally instead of just a list of URLs?

    • Tom

      In google now, go to settings -> speech settings (or something like that) and then the second one: always speak.

      • Jill Brehon

        Thanks, Tom, but I already have that set. I've done the exact same searches as in the video, but the results are written and not oral. Also, "Google" rarely activates the search. :S

        • Tom

          Mmm weird, no clue then I'm afraid :(

          • Jill Brehon

            Darn! I have the same situation on both my GNex and my Nexus 10. :S

          • Cinco312

            The only thing I can think of is making sure you have the updated Google search app and Google Play Services. If that doesn't work then I don't know what else to do.

    • remister

      Make sure your volume is up?

      • Jill Brehon

        LOL!

  • Lamm

    Lol, I never thought it could do all that... In portuguese all it does is search the web for anything you say and that's it. I can't do a single thing showed in this video ;(

  • Mo3tasm

    Google, (trum), I love you...

  • sQueezedhe

    more US only pish.
    This is a killer app in english - so why is it stuck in america?

    • Dan

      "so why is it stuck in america?" You're kidding, right? The US market has 230 million people over the age of 5 who speak English. Should Google concentrate instead on Sweden with a total population of less than 10 million people? Or maybe the UK with fewer than 60 million people who speak English as their primary language?

      • Guest

        But Australia =[

      • disqus_5WNzR6XWBG

        So you're saying then, that 50+ million people collectively are pointless?

        One of the more ridiculous things I've heard an american say.

  • Elias

    User to be able to input queries like "play led zeppelin" but now it doesn't work anymore. Boo!

    • Elias

      *used

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