Amazon's Android app has received an update to 5.1 that's all about reducing how much typing you need to do to use the app. We've spotted changes to the search UI that make it possible to perform inquiries using your voice. We've also come across strings hinting that credit card scanning is either already included or on its way.
When you hit the magnifying glass in the action bar to begin a search, the screen that appears will now contain a microphone for voice searches.
Update 8/21/14: Google today made the feature official by announcing it on the Inside Search blog. Head over to Search -> Settings -> Voice -> Languages to pick your languages.
Anyone who uses more than one language on a regular basis has probably felt some degree of annoyance with Google's voice search system on Android. You have to dig way into the settings to change the language, and there's no way to mix and match.
Here's something that might just blow your mind. If you perform a voice search and Google misunderstands you, or you happen to garble your words, there's a quick way to take care of that. Just follow up with a second search that begins with "No, I said..." Google will then replace the incorrect word with what you said the second time.
Here's an example. Let's say you're in a hurry to get to our lovely website, and you say "OK Google, take me to Android Police." It doesn't hear you properly, and somehow you end up with Android mobile.
Google started rolling out a massive improvement to voice search in the Google Search app last week by enabling "Ok Google" hotword detection everywhere. Really cool, but it has been slowly making its way to users on a per-account basis. Tired of waiting? Just a few taps, and you can (maybe) get instant access to the feature. Note: Probably US English only.
Not only is Google announcing all sorts of stuff today, but it's also updating a slew of its apps (it is Update Wednesday, after all). Today's Google Search update brings a huge improvement: "OK Google" hotword detection to any screen... even the lockscreen. If you're plugged into a charger, the feature will even work with the display off. This lines up with the earlier rumor that it was coming eventually.
Once enabled (Google Now > Settings > Voice > "Ok Google Detection"), you'll have to enable Audio History and say the words three time in order for Now to register your voice – much like setting up the hotword detection on the Moto X and recent Droid devices.
The Nexus 5 introduced us to the Google Now Launcher, which is now available on a number of other devices. One of the headlining features of Google's launcher is the always-on home screen hotword detection. You can say "Okay Google" at any time to bring up voice search, but OmniROM is about to take it one step further with custom hotwords.
Google's always adding new tidbits to Google Now voice search, like that tweak to reminders we posted earlier today. According to ye olde Google Twitter account, you can also ask Google search about your rental car reservations.
If you haven't heard, Google makes a ton of Android apps. It can be a real hassle to keep up with them all, as the company is occasionally prone to updating a handful of them at once. So today we're lumping together new versions of My Tracks, Google Fiber, Google TV Search, Google Shopping Express, and Voice Search for Google TV all in one post. Links and changelogs for all five apps are available below.
Google's voice search function is undeniably cool, and it's only getting better since the company has expanded the capabilities of the Android Search/Google Now app. However, there's one tragic flaw in the execution of voice actions: they can't make popcorn. But if you add some of Android's most powerful root-enabled tools, namely Tasker, the Xposed Framework, and the previously-featured AutoVoice, the sky's the limit. With the right hardware and tinkering, you can start living your Starfleet dreams in jig time.
Just by tapping the microphone icon in the search bar, English speakers can ask Google any number of questions and have their phone respond in their native language. Thus far, others haven't been so lucky. But now Google is expanding that functionality to more languages. Starting today, French, German, and Japanese speakers shall also be able to ask their Android devices questions and hear answers spoken in the same tongue.
The changes should take place server-side, so you don't have to wait for a update (as long as you already have the latest version, that is).