BlackBerry Gets Google Voice Search

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Blimey! Google Inc. has extended its Google Mobile application to the BlackBerry platform, so users can search with voice commands and look up sites depending on one’s location. Say, if you’re in London.

“Remember the last time you tried to search for ‘Marks & Spencers London SW1W’ on your BlackBerry and ended up with 10 extra characters in the spelling of ‘Spencers’ before you gave up on the ‘London’ bit?” reads a post by Luca Zanolin, a Google Mobile App engineer. No longer: Users simply speak the search terms.

And regarding the My Location feature: “Suppose you're vacationing in London, and you have a craving for fish and chips. With the My Location feature enabled, you can just enter "fish n chips" into Google Mobile App, and it will return the fish and chips restaurants closest to you. No need to type in ‘fish and chips near SW1W.’”

Local results have a link to open Google Maps for Mobile to help users find their way.

The voice search is enabled by pressing the green button while inside the app. It can be combined with the My Location feature.

The use of the London example is ironic since Google caught flack for the iPhone version of the app not understanding British accents very well.

Zanolin addresses this too: “And if you happen to speak with a British accent, you'll be happy to know that we now support British English as well.”

The new app – which doesn’t work on the BlackBerry Storm, incidentally – was announced in Google’s official blog this week. Aside from the Storm, it’s 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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