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Android Voice Search

One great tool available on Android devices is Google’s Voice Search. It works on Android 2.2 and up and is probably already installed on your device. If you don’t have it, you can get it in the Google Play store for free. Tap the Voice Search icon to get started.

This search isn’t as sophisticated as Siri or Microsoft’s new virtual assistant Cortana, but it can still be very helpful. To get its attention, start your sentence with OK Google. Let’s say I want to ask the location of closest gas station. It only takes a couple of seconds to come up with the closest stations and a map to help me find them.

But when I look for the cheapest gas price, it just gives me ads for gas rewards programs and an app I could install to find the best price.

It can find a close bakery with driving directions.

But if I want a cronut, I’ll have to order online.

I can get directions to the closest movie theater and a link to their website where I can check out showtimes, but I can’t get a showtime for a specific movie just by asking.

I really do like the app’s ability listen to a snippet of a song and immediately identify it. Tap the icon and say “What’s this song?” while music is playing on the radio, TV or stereo. Voice will begin to analyze the song.

Then identify the music and give you an option to purchase from Google.

It can also help you learn how to do something, such as fry a turkey.

Or locate the closest hospital if it doesn’t go well.

You can also pull up your local forecast.

You can even have it open up your Twitter app, but it won’t send a Tweet. You’ll have to type that in yourself. Open it up and play with it. It can certainly be a time-saver when you need to look up directions or a fact. Much easier than typing on a tiny phone keyboard.

~ Cynthia