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.
A few weeks ago, a GSM Nexus S update 2.3.6 (GRK39C) with voice search fixes started rolling out, but it was immediately discovered to break Wi-Fi and USB tethering. After many complaints, Google pulled the OTA, and it seems like they've spent the last couple of weeks making sure everything works as expected.
A new update surfaced tonight, also numbered 2.3.6, but this time bearing build GRK39F. While there is no official changelog, based on the fact that an update with the same exact build hit the Nexus One a few days ago and didn't break tethering, I think it's safe to say it fixes at least that issue (Update: thanks to our buddy Omar for an additional confirmation of working tethering).
A little over a year ago Google introduced Voice Actions, which allowed Android users to perform a variety of tasks by simply issuing voice commands. Unfortunately, to the chagrin of non-English speakers, the app was only available in US English. Today Google is updating Voice Actions for users in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain with support for British English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.
To use Voice Actions simply say one of the following commands (spoken in any of the aforementioned languages):
send text to [contact] [message]
go to [website]
navigate to [location/business name]
directions to [location/business name]
map of [location]
It is also possible to perform standard Google searches with Voice Actions.
Wow, this went unnoticed for a while, didn't it? On November 23rd, Google's own GoogleinHK YouTube account posted a video walkthrough of the new Google Voice Search in Cantonese. With only 2100 views, this official Google-authored video did not grab anyone's attention, until someone noticed that it featured over a minute of the clearest Gingerbread user interface video we've seen to date. The greens, the blacks - it's all there. Have a look:
Update #2: the original video was pulled but luckily, I found another copy:
Update #3: another mirror, in case Google takes down our YouTube mirror.
Today’s Google Mobile even certainly did not disappoint. In addition to some minor improvements in Google Search, such as the ability to call businesses and play music from the web, Google introduced Voice Actions, a huge update to Android’s Voice Search application.
The video below demonstrates all the capabilities of the new application. If you’ve used Google’s speech-to-text functions before, you’ll know how well they work, and Voice Actions simply expands on that in a very powerful way.
In an unsurprising and entirely boring turn of events, Samsung Behold II upgrade to Android 1.6, aka Donut, has started on June 21st and is expected to be completed on June 25th.
As we mentioned earlier, Behold II will not be getting past 1.6, to shock and outrage of numerous device owners, and this week will be the last (if not the only) highlight of Behold's about to be slow and boring life.