MacMost Now 871: Google Voice Search On the iPhone

You can use the Google app to perform voice searches that return similar results to using Siri. Google voice searches can often be faster because your voice is interpreted on the phone, rather than being processed by a remote server. But Google voice search isn't integrated with iOS like Siri, so using both is your best option.

Video Transcript
Hi this Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's look at using Goggle Voice Search on the iPhone.

Android phones don't have Siri but they do have voice recognition capability. You can get a lot of those functions on your iPhone by simply using the standard Goggle app.

So on my iPhone here I'm going to go into the Goggle app which is free to download and I can do various things in here. I can for instance do a search that looks just like the Goggle homepage. I can do it by typing. I can access other apps. For instance inside I can access calendar information. I can even use the new Goggle mail functionality.

But for now I'm just going to focus on Voice which is that button there at the bottom center. I can ask it a question. For instance I can ask it something basic like the weather.
"What's the weather going to be like tomorrow?"
Tomorrow's forecast for Denver is 75 degrees with a chance of storm.

So a couple of things here. First of all you saw how good the voice recognition was. It does seem to be a little superior to Siri. Second of all you saw that it responded immediately. It actually showed me on the screen what it was doing. So it is actually doing the translation from my voice into text live on my phone. It is not sending it into a server like Siri does.

Of course it will use your phone. For instance your phone knows your location so it will use that to give answers. For instance I can ask this. "What's the best Chinese restaurant nearby?" There are several listings for the best Chinese restaurant nearby within ten miles.

So what else can you use it for. Well, a lot of standard stuff that you can do with Siri. For instance sports stuff.
"What are the National League's West standings?" "How is Apple stock doing today?" "Multiple 42 x 13." Notice how it wouldn't give me the actual answer there because I didn't phrase it correctly. So just like Siri you have to phrase things correctly sometimes. "What is 42 x 13?" The answer is 546.

You can also use it for movie times and traffic. "What movies opened this Friday?" Movies playing in Denver on Friday.
"What is traffic like on I25?" Showing traffic for interstate 25.

Now you can also get directions. So for instance I can do this, "Give me directions to the Central Park Recreational Center." Stapleton Recreational Center is 15 minutes from your location by car. Here are your directions.

Now if I tap on the map it will actually open the Goggle Map App and load up directions for that. So that is a little different than of course Siri. Siri would take you to the Apple Map App. So if you like using Goggle Maps and you want to do some sort of voice recognition to give you directions while driving then using the Goggle App with voice search will be the way to start that.

As you would expect Goggle voice search does great for searching the web. "Tell me about Isaac Newton." Here is some information about Isaac Newton. You can also just do image search pretty easily. "Show me some images of the Eiffel Tower." Take a look at these pictures of the Eiffel Tower.

Now the down side is that there is no integration with iOS. So you can't use it for things like reading and sending text messages. You can't create reminders in advance. You can't play music from your iTunes collection or use it for just general dictation. But Siri does all that and there is no reason you can't use both of these.

So some people may prefer for some of these functions to launch the Goggle app first and do them, while other functions just use Siri because it integrates nicely with iOS.

So Goggle Voice is one of those things that since it is free you might as well have on your iPhone as an alternative to Siri and you may find that for searching and for some other things it comes in handy.

Hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 19 Responses to “MacMost Now 871: Google Voice Search On the iPhone”

    5/29/13 @ 8:13 am

    How can you do the opposite?

    Say you receive a text message can you make the iPhone speak out the words of the text?


      5/29/13 @ 9:08 am

      You can do that with Siri, not the Google app. Just ask Siri: “Read me that message.”

    5/29/13 @ 7:16 pm

    hi gary i downloaded this app google search and there is no voice to it, i looked in the setting for a switch to enable it but couldn’t find anything. i hear it talkking in your video,nothing on mine!
    thanks for any help.

      5/29/13 @ 8:44 pm

      Does it look like the one I show? Perhaps you downloaded the wrong app.

    5/30/13 @ 3:56 am

    yes its the same one as yours, i will try and restart my cell and see what happens

      5/30/13 @ 5:06 am

      A restart shouldn’t make any difference. What version of the iPhone are you using? And which version of iOS? Maybe it only works on the later models? Also, check to make sure that the app you are using is up-to-date.

    Vivian Rosser
    5/30/13 @ 8:46 am

    I have the iPhone 4 the voice isn’t working but the app is very clever

      5/30/13 @ 9:11 am

      Check in your app’s settings. Make sure the Voice Search feature is on.

    Mike Fitzpatrick
    5/30/13 @ 10:32 am

    Hi Gary, another great video, however i also cannot get any voice back at me. Im using an iPhone5 with the most up to date iOS. Voice from me works fine and the app is well slick but all i get is links, no voice.
    There is very little on the web regarding this, and i didn’t even know until today that it could do what you demonstrated.
    I am in the UK if that makes a difference.

      5/30/13 @ 10:43 am

      Look in the app’s settings and see if anything there makes a difference.

        Mike Fitzpatrick
        5/30/13 @ 12:47 pm

        Voice search is turned on and there are no other voice related sections in settings. Thanks Gary

    E Bond Francisco
    5/30/13 @ 11:28 am

    Talk about voice recognition. I was thrilled to watch this, and immediately opened it up on my iPhone 4. I was watching the video and you said: “What’s the weather going to be?” The iPhone heard that, typed out the question, and gave me the weather report for San Anselmo, CA (sunny and warm!). How cool is that?

    Thom Holland
    5/30/13 @ 12:11 pm

    I like this new app! My iPhone is too old to load Siri, so this helps me a lot.

    Michael Dunlop
    5/30/13 @ 2:25 pm

    The voice must be set to US on the phone for voice response to work. It does not work if set to UK etc. Hope that helps!

      Mike Fitzpatrick
      6/6/13 @ 8:17 am

      Thanks Michael, that sorted the issue i was experiencing in the UK.
      BTW, you’re doing well this year at the TT.

    Michael Dunlop
    5/30/13 @ 2:55 pm

    Just to clarify:

    Touch the cog, top right.
    Touch Voice Search
    Select English (US)

    Rajesh Singh
    6/1/13 @ 12:41 am

    Hi Gary,
    I’m facing the same problem..
    i don’t hear a reply. I just get the answer or search result instantly displayed tough.
    I’m using an iphone 3GS.

    Rajesh Singh
    6/1/13 @ 12:48 am

    Oh i’m sorry,
    i just read Michael Dunlop’s comment & it works now!!

    Cheers Michael!!

    Thanks Gary.

    Michael Dunlop
    6/2/13 @ 5:32 pm

    Rajesh – very welcome – so glad it worked for you. Took me ages to find out the answer to the problem that really annoyed me too! Cheers!

Comments Closed.