Google is unveiling a new feature aimed at “understanding your intent” more when you perform a search. The Voice Search functionality will launch in an update as part of the standard Google Search app, but it focuses much less on searching and a lot more on just getting you the answers you want as quickly as possible. It happens to resemble a talking woman that already lives within iOS: yep, Siri.
Sure you can just speak out a search query and it will bring up a standard results page thus avoiding typing, but the real value in Voice Search is getting answers and skipping the hunt for the right one. Some sample questions in Google’s demo video include “How many people live in Cape Cod?” and “What is the weather like in Yarmouth?” Like Apple’s Siri, Google’s Voice Search lets you speak naturally without having to alter your normal speaking habits or use special commands for it to understand what you mean.
Voice Search is already available for Android and Google says the feedback so far is positive. It’ll soon be available on iOS, but some are struggling to predict whether Apple would even approve the Google Search app update in the first place. Technically, the Voice Search component of it duplicates existing iOS functionality, which in the past has resulted in the rejection of many apps.
Personally, I think there’s a good chance Apple will approve it. Voice Search is only one small feature of the entire Google Search app and while many might use it, there’s no way it will gain the same level of awareness as Siri.