Mobile // Mobile Applications
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3/25/2009
12:15 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Google Brings Voice Search To BlackBerry

Google made good on its promise to bring better search functionality to mobile devices today by offering up a new mobile application for BlackBerries. The new app will let BlackBerry smartphones perform voice-based searches and deliver local results, to boot.

Google made good on its promise to bring better search functionality to mobile devices today by offering up a new mobile application for BlackBerries. The new app will let BlackBerry smartphones perform voice-based searches and deliver local results, to boot.Google has already granted the powers of voice search to the iPhone and the Android platform (HTC G1). Now, BlackBerry users get to have some voice-powered fun, too.

The application, which is a free download, provides a shortcut to several Google services such as Gmail, Maps, News and Reader. Below those shortcuts is the search bar. You can use either your voice to enter in a search query, or you can type the query in as normal. If you choose the latter, Google begins searching as you type. It will also generate search suggestions as you type, so you don't necessarily have to type your entire query before Google may suggest it.

As an aside, one thing I've noticed with this feature is that it makes the application a little on the slow side. This is true on the iPhone, as well.

More than just voice, perhaps the better feature to have is Google's My Location. My Location takes advantage of location information (GPS, Wi-Gi, cellular) and produces local results for search queries.

For example, with My Location enabled, I performed a simple search for "pizza." The results returned were highly accurate. The first result was the nearest pizza place (which happens to be around the corner from my home). The second result was the next-closest and so on.

The best part, is that Google says the voice-recognition feature will work with British accents.

Google Mobile App is now available on all versions of Blackberry running on OS 4.1+ and with Search by voice on OS 4.2 and above.

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