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Google launches voice search function

Google launches voice search function

Google has launched a new feature that lets users conduct internet searches hands-free – using the sound of their voice.

The new feature is one of several the search engine giant unveiled in San Francisco yesterday (June 16) which are designed to speed up web searches and make mobile browsing easier.

Google voice search has been available on mobile devices for some time, but will now be available to those searching the internet on a desktop or laptop – provided that they are using Google Chrome and have a microphone plugged into their machine. At present, no other web browser supports the feature.

Google’s strapline for the launch of the feature is “if you can say it, you can search for it”.

In a test run of the feature, it demonstrated how the voice search function could handle complex queries such as “pictures of the yellow-bellied warbler” and “weather for Schenectady, New York”.

At the same briefing Google also unveiled a new feature called Instant Pages, which it claims will shave 2-5 seconds off the load times of web pages. The company also demonstrated enhanced image recognition, in which users can do searches by dragging images into a box.

Google also launched a revamped version of its mobile website, which it hopes will make it easier for users to search on-the-go information about local restaurants and attractions.

Offering some insight into mobile search trends, Google said that searches via mobile increase during the night and at weekends – when searches via PCs drop. It said that traffic coming via mobile devices has increased five-fold in the past two years.

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