Google Android Voice ActionsGoogle Android Voice Actions

Google has led the way with native voice search capabilities on Android, and it's take a giant leap ahead with the new Voice Actions, just announced at that event today in Mountain View, Calif. It's about as easy as it gets. Speak it, and it happens. Here's what you can say:

  • send text to [contact] [message]
  • listen to [artist/song/album]
  • call [business]
  • call [contact]
  • send email to [contact] [message]
  • go to [website]
  • note to self [note]
  • navigate to [location/business name]
  • directions to [location/business name]
  • map of [location]

We're going to have to play with this and see how well it handles multiple e-mail accounts and the like. But judging by the demo (which you can watch after the break, it's quickly leaped to the top of the voice ladder. [Google]

There are 99 comments

Mr. Obama says:

When will it get pushed to own phones?

If you have Froyo, you can download it from the Market. Works great on my Incredible.

storm14k says:

You have a leaked build of Froyo on that Incred?

Yeah, this one:

Works well enough to be a final build but it will probably be like the Evo leak where it went from .3 to .6 at the last minute.

vizzle07#AC says:

What froyo build are you running on your Incredible?

Argodabar says:

Same thing for me.

There is a screenshot of the build info in the link I posted above.

ben dover says:

installation unsuccessful on CM6 evo. must be the version of GApps I have installed... suck! I want to play with the new fetures!

Examiner19 says:

Uninstall the current version with Titanium Backup, reboot and then install the new version from the market. That worked for me.

ben dover says:

thanks! I saw someone post it over at xda so I tried that and it worked! when they first announced it I was kind of bummed because I though, "i already have that..." but now that I use it... WOW!

cr3amy says:

Omg please tell me that this will work through a Bluetooth headset. I can avoid getting a cell phone ticket in my car if it does!

EvanGMan says:

YES. Bumped.

Mikey47 says:


Can't test it myself right now, anyone confirm or deny this?

EvanGMan says:

Just got my bluetooth from my car -- sorry to say it still pulls up voicedial on Froyo for MotoDroid. Pity - there needs to be a patch ASAP.

xuohtx says:

Works fine over bluetooth. Not sure if it picks up your voice from the headset or just the speaker on the phone but calls were routed to my headset.

Mikey47 says:

But it still requires you to interact with your phone by pressing the button for voice search and the send button, no?

It needs to be completely integrated so you do not have to touch your phone at all.

cr3amy says:

My *biggest* concern is that it picks up my voice from the bluetooth headset. I can manage to poke one button while driving so long as everything else is hands-free.

Maybe someone can make an app that routes any Bluetooth command that opens Voice Dialer to open this app instead. In fact, I bet that wouldn't be hard with Google's upcoming app creator.

mattbrich says:

I even unpaired and re-paired my bluetooth. Only the no-mercy I'll call the wrong person before you can hang up Bluetooth dialer works with a bluetooth tap. Crazy that google updated other apps to function with this but not the bluetooth "dialer."

Cool functions, but overall not as powerful as Vlingo. Where's the "safereader" function?

Sticking with Vlingo for the time being. Sorry Google, you ALMOST got me to drop them.

This is Very Sexy... I'll wait till I leave work to check it out though.

EvanGMan says:

Wow... just downloaded it. This is awesome.

pirarre says:

This is so Awesome. Features like this is why I prefer Android anytime over Apple.

xuohtx says:

How is this different than Voice Search that I already have on my EVO?

Edit: I see it has a few more capabilities.

jewel says:

It's an updated version with more perks.

That is awesome. Can't wait to try it out. Where does one get one of those t-shirts?

storm14k says:

This is some seriously good stuff. I was just complaining about the features being split up between search and activating things. This will get a CRAPLOAD of use from me. I always see stuff in the car and want to take a note or send a message to my wife and don't want to fumble with the phone too much to get it done.

I hope though that this is going to work with many apps. For instance I don't use text messaging at all on Verizon and instead use Google voice. So I'm wondering if I would be able to send a message with Voice instead without too much extra hassle.

blueorder says:

Can't see it in the market. Bummer. Nevermind

EVO 4G - Fresh EVO

xuohtx says:

Where did you find it?

jewel says:

It's the Voice Search app.

SeeK says:

I can't find this on Market. Barcode, anyone?

Also, I keep wondering when we'll be able to create our own commands, or "voice shortcuts" if you will. For example, instead of trying to get the STT recognizer to understand "psx4droid", I could just link the application itself to a more simple voice command, such as "PSX". So, I'd say "Open PSX", or "Open Playstation".

jewel says:

It's the Voice Search app.

SeeK says:

Can't find anything other than the one I already have installed, and there are no updates for that.

jewel says:

Install the one you find on Market. That'll do the trick.

I really want 2.2 now.

belogical says:

Why oh why are you abusing us HTC/Verizon? Give us Incredible froyo now!

itch808 says:

It works GREAT on my INCREDIBLE!!!! Nice job!!!

tberman333 says:

it seems to work very well... I am impressed!

chief113 says:

Wow, that is incredible. This makes my blackberry look like a rotary phone. Question for you guys that have it? Does it really work that fast like it did in the video?

watleyp says:

no it doesnt, but it moves at a reasonable pace

circustravis says:

Please tell me they are making fun of Apple's iPad campaign by describing this as "magic".

jcg878 says:

Just installed - truly awesome!!

vercro says:

I just want to point out that you have The Decemberists in the screen shot. Great band!

ems12a says:

You can find this app at Google Mobile Apps here Then you can down load to your phone. It's 2.2 only so if you don't have 2.2 you will have to wait. Works great on my Nexus One still cant use it on my Vibrant yet.

SeeK says:

Requested item cannot be found. I'm guessing they've not released it in my country for some forsaken reason?

Darkseider says:

Installation unsuccessful! Comes up saying it is a bad signature on the app. Grrr... BB v0.4 btw.

DROIDEd says:

This is fantastic. Works great!! Froyo update yesterday and revamped Voice Search today...both at no-charge.
Life is good...

sYnOnYx says:

Works great but no, not as fast as the video. It would be perfect if it was .... great app though

MartinRW says:

This is very cool. I thought that a certain artist's music was on the phone (but it wasn't), so when I did the "listen to", it opened up Slacker Radio and found their music on a Slacker station.

gotroot801 says:

It does that even if you do have MP3s on your phone. On the Incredible, it won't open the Music app - only Last.FM, Rdio or Slacker (on mine).

ems12a says:

LOL This is going to make people that don't have Froyo 2.2 yet want it EVEN MORE! I don't use my Nexus One any more but this makes me want to take the sim out of my Vibrant and fire up the N1 and use it until the Vibrant gets 2.2.

MartinRW says:

and yes, to the person asking if it works for texting with Google Voice.

eyesparky says:

Not for UK it seems ... shame, we would like to use Android functionality too! I could even fake a US accent if I was given the choice ;). Google do need to put some work into how they deal with a Global OS as the piecemeal, sometime maybe approach gets tired quickly.

SeeK says:

I second this. The fact that many of Android's features are only available in the US is really starting to bug me. Paid apps, Navigation, and now this. Three things I would very much like to have over here in Sweden (and the UK, seeing as how I go there every month).

eyesparky says:

We have Navigation now in UK (for your next visit ;)). Downloaded the AppBrain version of Google Search thinking it might be it (v2.0.1 for Android 2.2) but am getting mixed reults i.e. all actions go to the web and search, so I am assuming this is missing the actions bit? If anyone could verify or let me know if they can get this working I would appreciate it.

On a side note, if you go to the Google site they will happily text a link to the UK for this app, which when followed results in "application not found".

SeeK says:

Good to know about Navigation and wow, that worked fine! Cheers mate, got the new Voice Search installed. Will give them a try when I get back from work. :)

And yes, exactly what happened for me. xD

eyesparky says:

Available via AppBrain for the UK. In order to get it to work you have to set your voice input language to US English ... then it does what it says on the tin ;)

SeattleBrad says:

Headline is misleading. The app is called Voice Search, not Voice Actions.

jj1814 says:

True, but Google has introduced the concept as Voice Actions.

normanb20 says:

Won't install on bugless beast .3

Vagrant_1 says:

Torture for me and my Incredible damn where is my froyo.

4mooo says:

installed on my EVO, terrible recognition for people. Tried send email to and send text to several contacts and can't identify any of them. Made sure my search selection included people.

crxssi says:

Well, it worked PERFECTLY for me. I was floored.

dodolom says:

So, I installed this on my HTC Desire with 2.2 but any voice command I say,it gives me google search results. Any idea why?

zausner says:

So this gives the rest of the community the Genius Button found on the MyTouch Slide....

drathos says:

I'm not sure what the "Genius Button" does special on the MyTouch devices, but stock Android has had voice search available since at least 2.0 (when I first started using Android on my Droid). Just hold down the search button and it prompts you.

This release just adds a couple more keywords/actions and seems to have improved the voice capture/recognition.

JCool525 says:

I'm going to try this out on my Evo.

Mikey47 says:

Does this work on EVO? According to this article: it says: "But if you want the app, you'll only find it on the new Motorola Droid 2 from Verizon -- which is expected in stores today -- and the now discontinued Nexus One. Those phones run the updated Android 2.2 software, which Google says will be rolled out gradually to other Android phones, including Sprint's HTC Evo and older Droid phones."

Is this guy just out of the loop?

jj1814 says:

He's outta the loop. It'll work on your Froyo'd EVO

DikaiaKnight says:

Verizon needs to release froyo for the Incredible today. Enough of this waiting crap!

ibegary says:

Im seeing the same thing, its trying to search for "" but cant find it

MartinRW says:

When I try the new "set alarm" feature, it tells me that I need to update "clock" and it searches in the android market and finds nothing.

herki says:

Same here. I wonder if that means that my phone (the Droid 1, maybe yours too?) is getting an even cooler new clock with froyo. And I thought making the dock mode the clock was cool!

berlblack says:

Same here on EVO.

smartguy75 says:

so how different this is from edwin? So does this make Edwin obsolete?

y2whisper says:

yeah not working in canada either, even when using market access u can find it but wont install.

serpico says:

I can't even get it to show up when I search in the Canadian market. Must be another US only thing, bummer.

herki says:

Interesting how when you use the "listen to.." command, the built-in music app isn't one of the options for listening to music.
Maybe evidence that an entirely brand-new music app is on the way, such that they've stopped working on the one we have right now?

icebike says:

Yeah that sucked.
Why would I want to stream music that is on the phone.

I'm guessing the built in app has no token handeling.

ptibodo says:

Same clock problem on my EVO. Rest is amazing, though. Just sent an all voice text. When I said "smiley face" I got a grinning green robot face.

CyD13 says:

Wow, a really cute guy presenting a really awesome feature. What more could I ask for?

Sinistar72 says:

Kinda appleish vid. Parady?

Sinistar72 says:

Kinda appleish vid. Parady?

doesn't enter anything into the "to" fields for emails and texts. Have tried multiple times.
EVO 2.2

4mooo says:

I am having the same problem. Evo 2.2 as well.

mcook1670 says:

I installed it on my eris with froyo and it worked once, now i get a connection problem. Is it because it's new and everyone is trying it out?

SeeK says:

Could someone appsave this and upload the .apk somewhere? I'd really like to take this out for a spin, but seeing as Scandinavia doesn't exist to Google...

ceriem says:

So they just put Vlingo out of business?? At least in the Android sector.

gbhil#AC says:

Sinamn2224 says:

Text works great on my 2.2 evo. Haven't tried email yet. Now we have to wait for the clock upgrade, I guess.

Draiko#AC says:

Message for everyone who can't get email or text working...

make sure to enable Google contact sync... exchange won't work.

Cubfan says:

I just downloaded the app, and made an iPhone 4 user swear out loud at work when I showed it to him.

immjg says:

I wish it could also "read" messages and emails like Vlingo can. I will use this to send messages and texts because I use Google voice and Gmail apps and Vlingo doesn't support the Google apps.

Simer03 says:

tried the "Set alarm to..." command and they dont have a clock app that's capable of doing the command yet! I have to set my alarm to different times every morning and it varies too, so once this gets working, it will be my most used command! this is seriously AMAZING!!

Sh3ngLong says:

I just tried it on my Evo and it is SUH-WEEET!! The only thing missing that Vlingo has are:

* Ability to open/launch apps (eg. "Open calendar")
* Auto punctuation marks. With Google's Voice Search, if you say two sentences, it types it up as one long sentence without any punctuation marks. You have to say the punctuation mark if you want it typed in. With Vlingo, it will automatically put in the punctuation marks for you. (eg. If I say "Wanna go out tonight? I'm hungry for sushi." Vlingo will type exactly that and with the proper punctuation marks. Google's Voice Search will display it as "Wanna go out tonight i'm hungry for sushi")

At least Google's Voice Search and Vlingo are both FREE now so I can switch between them for certain voice actions. :)

drathos says:

The Voice Dialer app can do the "open calendar" type of command, Google just needs to merge it and Voice Search.

vinny#AC says:

Great app. Used to be a big vlingo user on my old blackberry and loved it. This blows vlingo away. Google did a great job. Does everything and on the first try. Vlingo would have to go thru learning curve with your voice, Google gets it right the first time. Absolutely fantastic. Big fan of Google. This app goes great with my Google Nexus One. When you download this app it replaces all other google search with the new one. Can not say enough good things.

so apparently you need to have google sync contacts in order for this to work properly when you say send text to and add contact name.... otherwise it doesnt find the contact name and inserts it into the text message field. problem with this is i dont want to sync google contacts because when you do all your pictures become low quality and degraded and then caller id pictures look horrible... any way around this?