The speech input interface that is seen in apps like YouTube and the Play Store hasn't been updated for some time. If I'm remembering correctly, the last time it was revised was when the new Google logo replaced the old one, but it had remained largely the same for years before that as well. The company is now testing a Material-based UI that is a much better match for Android's current aesthetic. Read More
Many of us were happy to see the recent addition of a keyboard input method in Assistant and the setting to choose it as a preferred method. After all, many of us don't like to shout at our phones all the time because we either need some privacy, we're often in public, or we may simply not feel comfortable talking to an inanimate object.
But what if the keyboard is your preferred input method and there's that one time where you would rather use voice instead? Maybe your hands are wet or dirty, maybe you're carrying something with your other hand and you can't easily type your request with just one, or I don't know... Read More
There's a subtle change to the Android voice input system, and you probably already have it on your phone without realizing. Some time ago, users started reporting that a delete button had appeared on the dictation keyboard, and now we're seeing it too. The most likely cause is an update to the Google app, which contains the voice settings.
Have you noticed that sometimes your Nexus 5 reverts to the old Ice Cream Sandwich-style pop-up for voice dictation in some apps, as opposed to the less disruptive "endless dictation" on-the-keyboard style? You're not alone. Our fearless leader Artem found that his N5's microphone icon was missing from the default keyboard, and using contextual mic icons (in search boxes and other places) caused the aforesaid behavior. It was also affecting third-party keyboards like SwiftKey.
As it turns out, at least some Nexus devices and updates are being sent out with the "Google voice typing" option disabled in the Language and Input menu. Read More
I've known my wife for five years now, and I still struggle to remember her phone number. The only numbers I know are those I can recall from before getting my first mobile phone, and since I have lost touch with nearly everyone from back then, that has largely been reduced down to immediate family members. For everyone else, there's a People app, and all I've had to do to dial them is start typing their name. Now I don't even have to make that much effort. If you join the Google Search field trial, you can find a contact's information simply by asking your phone. Read More
Perhaps the most time-saving key on the Android keyboard is the microphone, but using it is more hassle than it's worth when certain words just refuse to be recognized. More often than not, these words are contact names. Luckily, there is a way to trick your phone into recognizing even the most tongue-twisting of names. If you're tired of your phone turning "Demonte Jones" into "Demon's bones," just teach it to recognize the latter as the former. Granted, this might be a problem when you're texting a friend the location of a secret item in your favorite MMORPG.
The instructions are pretty straightforward:
- Open up the People app and find your desired contact.
I make no bones of the fact that I find 3rd party voice assistants to be increasingly redundant, especially with the arrival of Google Now on Jelly Bean.
But Google Now doesn't do certain things. One of those things has annoyed me since the early days of Google's Voice Actions: you can't make calendar events through voice input. And as a person that absolute despises digital calendars, this is something of a "must have" feature. Creating a calendar event in an app, to me, is like having a root canal - in that I wish I could be unconscious for the entire experience. Read More
One of Swype keyboard's most glaring omissions, especially apparent to those of us with Android 2.1/2.2 is the missing voice input button.
The voice input button, present on the stock keyboard when typing in any text field, lets you utilize Android's speech-to-text capabilities and works surprisingly well. I sure missed it when I installed Swype.
And I'm not alone - over 2000 votes have been cast by Swype users, making it the #1 requested Swype feature - the next one down is only around 600 votes.
The good news is: Swype has been listening, and the voice input button is coming soon. Read More