Google introduces Voice Actions for Android

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Google unveiled Voice Actions for Android during a press event Thursday, touting a new speech-activated interface enabling Voice Actions for Androidconsumers to access smartphone features via spoken command. Voice Actions for Android requires users to tap or press the microphone icon on the device homescreen's Google search box to activate the ‘Speak Now' screen--from there, the user can select from roughly a dozen commands, including "Send text to [contact] [message]," "Listen to [artist/song/album]," "Call [contact/business]," "Go to [website]" and "Navigate to [location/business name]." Consumers may also continue conducting voice-enabled Google searches.

Also new: An updated Google search widget for Android, adding enhancements to local search results like addresses and ratings tied to nearby business. In addition, new pencil icon adjacent to search suggestions enables further refinements.

Voice Actions and the new Google search widget require Android 2.2. Both applications will be pre-installed on Motorola's new Droid 2 smartphone.

For more on the new Android apps:
- check out this Voice Actions for Android video
- read this Official Google Mobile Blog entry

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