Google has launched a new Android service that lets you control a number of features on your phone with speech. Voice recognition was already built into Android, letting you do things like compose email messages or text messages by hitting the microphone icon. But the new Voice Actions feature gos much further by allowing you to launch applications and perform actions within those apps with your voice.
For example, you can tell your phone to send a text message to a contact, and then compose the message. You can tell your phone to listen to a song or artist using a supported music app which surprisingly doesn’t seem to include the native Android music player. Or you can open a web page, compose a note to yourself, navigate to a location, get directions, or send an email.
You can check out a demo video after the break.
Honestly, the whole thing sounds a lot like Edwin to me. Edwin is a third party app I reviewed recently which has many o the same features. The difference is Google Voice Actions is an official app from Google and it’s designed to work with third party apps including Pandora, Rdio, and other music streaming apps.
Voice Actions will come preloaded on the new Motorola Droid 2. And it’s avialbale for phones running Android 2.2 including the Google Nexus One, HTC Evo, and Motorola Droid. In order to get all the features, you need to download and install the new Google Voice Search app, a Google Search widget, and the latest versions of music apps such as Pandora — which would explain why there was a new version of Pandora pushed out last night.