Can anyone tell me why manufacturers feel the need to allow us to talk to our devices? Is it a gadget fad or is it something that will improve our quality of life? Or is it just cool? Google and Android developers seem to feel it’s something that’s necessary because some really cool uses for voice actions are becoming the norm in the devices we use the most.
Google TV Responding To Your Voice
Voice action apps for Android and iPhone have been available for years. But it looks like Google is about to take it one step further with a patent that was filed on September 29, 2011. According to Patently Apple, Google is looking to create a new remote or app that will use voice controls associated with their cloud services. The Siri-like interface will allow users to use voice commands to record a television show, look up show information and share information with other Android devices, like smartphones or tablets.
For now these are only some potential uses for the voice actions, but it’s something that’s definitely possible. I’m curious to see if they will release additional information on their plans for this patent at Google I/O 2012 in June.
Utter! is an Android personal assistant app that allows you to interact with your phone or tablet via voice command. It uses the IVONA Text-to-Speech HQ speech engine and with it you can set commands for specific apps, perform basic tasks or make system related changes to your device. It can perform a lot of the same tasks that Google Voice Actions and Siri can do, but it is very customizable.
What I like the most is that it enables you to assign specific keywords to interact with the applications you use the most. For instance, if you used Handcent instead of Messages to send text messages, you could set the text command to work with Handcent instead of Messages.
Check out the demo video below to see Utter! in action. Developer brandall76 is using a rooted HTC Flyer to show us some of the features. My favorite part is around the 9:16 mark, when he asks Utter! what she thinks about Siri. You can also set up Utter! to start random conversations (18:06 in the video) with you if you’re feeling lonely.
To keep up with the Utter! project, visit the forum post on XDA.
As always, I want to know what you think. Is this something that users will use over Google’s Project Majel? Will it be a viable alternative to what Apple is able to do with Siri? For a beta app, it seems to work pretty well.