Although it hasn’t been the only important update or improvement it has brought to the table, Jelly Bean’s voice search has been the highlight of so many articles and discussions this past week that I’m sure you’re starting to get a bit tired.
And while I know that you’ve already seen a fistful of video clips comparing the new voice search in Android to Apple’s Siri, or simply showing off what the new feature can do, you shouldn’t miss the video at the end of this post for the world.
In this particular clip, Jean-Louis Nguyen, a Montreal-based technology geek (I hope he doesn’t mind me calling him that) takes the voice search on the Galaxy Nexus for a pretty comprehensive spin, bombarding it with no less than 47 different questions.
As expected, the Voice Search app does a stupendous job in providing the answers to the questions both accurately, but also extremely fast. The app’s intuitiveness is easy to notice in the clip, as it has no problem distinguishing words pronounced in an almost identical fashion. Also, it’s pretty great to see a voice assistant software that doesn’t force you to repeat the question more than one time and that understands and “communicates” with you at an unbelievably fast pace.
Now, I’m not going to spoil much of the fun you’ll most likely have by watching the video and see the Voice Search handling more than 40 different questions, among which there are at least 10 or 15 difficult ones, in under 10 minutes, but I have to make a few observations with your permission.
First off, what truly blew my mind from the first clip I saw demoing Google’s Voice Search is the so-called “Knowledge Graph”. The app’s intuitiveness is only beaten by its knowledge, which is, without exaggerating, practically unlimited. Not only can the voice assistant in Android tell you what the weather will be like tomorrow or what actor played in a particular movie, but it can also provide you with sports results without the need of mentioning a baseball team’s full name or its opponent’s full name.
The Voice Search might not understand humor and irony, but when asked for “the answer to life, the universe and everything”, it immediately found the metaphor in Douglas Adams’ Hitchkiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The app can also differentiate between “Worcester” and “Wooster”, two words pronounced almost the same, and it can come up with answers from every and any area of interest, including movies, literature, geography, history or physics.
Sure, the app is still not perfect and needs some additional work here and there (you can see that some answers are only provided in text, while “device features are not yet supported”), but the great thing about the video clip you’ll watch below is that it really shows off the wide appeal of Voice Search in Jelly Bean, and how it can fit and satisfy so many different needs and desires.
That being said, have fun watching the video and let us know in the comments section what do you make of it and how impressed are you about JB’s Voice Search right now. And please, keep it civilized and don't just try to annoy Apple fanboys by telling them Siri sucks – I think that they're starting to realize that for themselves!