Aug 12 AT 12:59 PM Taylor Wimberly 71 Comments

Google introduces Voice Actions for Android 2.2

Remember that special event Google was hosting today? They just announced a new service call Voice Actions which allows you to search your phone, the web, and nearby locations by speaking into your phone instead of typing. Google also updated their search widget to support all the latest features.

Users can also issue commands to their phone like send a text message, listen to a song, compose an email, or take a personal note.

Voice Actions requires Android 2.2, so it will be limited to the Nexus One, Droid, EVO, and other phones with the latest firmware. The Droid 2 which launched today also has these apps pre-installed.

We just installed the apps and are playing around with them, so check back later for a full review. In the mean time, if you have a phone with Android 2.2 then give it a shot and let us know what you think.

Sample commands include:
  • send text to [contact] [message]
  • listen to [artist/song/album]
  • call [business]
  • call [contact]
  • send email to [contact] [message]
  • go to [website]
  • note to self [note]
  • navigate to [location/business name]
  • directions to [location/business name]
  • map of [location]

Via: Google Mobile

Source: Voice Actions

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Roy

    Could someone post the apk’s for us non-us people?

  • http://Website Dan

    Wow, I’m completely disappointed…. in addition, don’t Froyo users account for only ~5% of the entire Android user base?

    • http://Website Shane

      Considering 2.2 just started rolling out your comment is highly ignorant. In addition, it’s not (Google)Android’s fault that a lot of the phones are lacking, it’s the phone makers. Blame them.

      • keridel

        so? google know that only 5% of phones use it. we all know that 2.1 is capable of voice search they would have it a massive market share. but no.

        there is nothing ignorant about his comment. it shows his dissapointment

    • http://Website ari-free

      Droid does…

  • http://Website Hindle

    Will not install on cm6 2.2 rom for mytouch 3g

  • http://Website brook

    YAY!!!…. wait…. I’m still on 1.6… so maybe one day i’ll buy a new phone that has 2.2 on it… ’cause that whole “no phones left behind” pledge by t-mobile sure isn’t panning out…

  • http://Website Mocha K

    This is what i always wanted. Too bad im not on 2.2 yet. Come on samsung, don’t dissapoint me.

    • http://Website Mocha K

      Spelling, I know.

      Anyways, Does anybody know if i upgrade from 2.1 to 2.2 would i have to download this separately or will it already be on there? I wish i could use this now.

  • http://Website jrbourque

    If you hit send on personal note where does it go lol

    • Brendan

      I was wondering that too. Maybe it sends yourself an email.

    • http://Website Glenn

      I just tried it. It opens up the Gmail app to send yourself an email with the subject “Note to self” and whatever your message is in the body of the email.

  • http://Website Fred

    Not on my Market.. Norway. Using HTC Desire with 2.2.

    • Brendan

      Not in mine either in Canada.

      It’s funny that if you go to the website, you can have to link sent to your mobile, and there are no restrictions on country.

    • http://Website Silas

      Weird, it is on my marked, just downloaded it as “voice search”, and when downloaded it was translated to danish “Stemmes√ɬłgning”. Works, although not too useful when it only understands english.
      Im in Denmark with a Desire.

  • http://Website Dave

    T-Mobile pretty much has this by way of the “Genius Button” on the My Touch Slide, which for the most part doesn’t work if there is even minimal background noise. Unless Google’s app has a way to filter out the noise, and works a lot faster than the button does, I’d think the new act is a waste of space.

    • http://Website Bob

      this is cloud based stuff, dont you get it ? can your genius button call any number in london for instance(for which you dont have any contact stored in your phone ? )

  • http://Website Dave

    T-Mobile pretty much has this by way of the “Genius Button” on the My Touch Slide, which for the most part doesn’t work if there is even minimal background noise. Unless Google’s app has a way to filter out the noise, and works a lot faster than the button does, I’d think the new app is a waste of space.

  • http://Website adam

    yay now i can show off my droid 1 with 2.2 0s lol t-mobile sucks for those with them.Dump them

  • http://Website adam

    @dave the genius button is not but the same as text to speech even 1.6 os has limited version. They added full function of text to speech on 2.1 os in nexus one before releasing it to every other phone

  • Jimmy @ Run, Jimmy, Run

    Dayum, I can’t wait. Anyone know when 2.2 is coming to the Droid Incredible?!

    • http://Website Futureboy

      Yes… approximately 14 months before the MT3G gets it.

  • http://Website Fred

    For those of you complaining that you have an older version of android how about upgrading your phone? Chances are the phone is at least a year old if you are running 1.6 unless you bought the dumb Yes, apparently 2.1 will not support either, however there is a good chance that you will be upgraded to 2.2 anyways.
    Help the ecomomy and buy a new phone and stop whining.

    • http://Website Kevin


      Many Current phones still run 1.6. My my touch 3g 1.5 is 6 months old.

  • http://Website jrbourque

    Confirmed it goes to email it just went into a label and I didn’t see it till now

  • http://Website adam

    Fred voice search it old even my g1 that i dont use anymore has it. So google isnt releasing something new.

  • http://Website jarrod

    Love it! By why doesn’t “listen” search music stored on my phone? Also, where are notes stored?

  • http://Website kram

    I couldn’t get the “set alarm” voice command to work. It says I need to download the new version of clock but then it cant find it in the market. Also, the “listen to” command automatically pulls up pandora instead of giving me the option of what program to use like in the video. All the other commands mentioned work like they are supposed to. Stock N1

    • http://Website coggy9

      I’m guessing “listen to” just “presses” the media button.

    • cschle

      From what I am getting you can only use the command “listen to” with Pandora,, mSpot, Spotify and Rdio and not your media player with your mp3′s. I thought that was kinda disappointing.

      • anakin78z

        Yea, it doesn’t actually work with music on your phone, which I find incredibly lame.

    • http://Website Silas

      If i press “go to website” it gives me which states:
      The clock app update is currently unavailable. Our team is actively working on a solution so that the ‘set alarm’ voice action can be used. Thanks so much for your patience.

  • http://Website adam

    Love android go green with robot lol Not red with apple . Droid and g1 user here !

  • http://Website adam

    Dave t-mobile suck they cant upgrade non of there phone for nothing look at how many they gotten this year and last year no upgrade ?

    cliq qt march 2010 1.5 0s no update yet?
    Garminphone Jun 2010 1.6 os no update yet?
    mytouch slide Jun 2010 2.1 os no update yet?
    motorola cliq NOV 2009 1.5 os no update yet?

    only the behold 2 and 1st gen phone include g1,mytouch original had an update in june 2010
    Behold 1.5 os in november and upgraded to 1.6 os in jun 23rd 2010.
    Mytouch 1.5 os release in aug 2010 got 1.6 os in october
    Google g1 release in oct 2008 but it got 3 update 1.1 in mar 2009,1.5 in late may/early jun and 1.6 os in october.

    So t-mobile since the google g1 and mytouch only update one of there 5 phones so far.

    Discluded Samsung galaxy because it just came out in the middle of july.

    Verizon kick t-mobile ass any day.
    Release dates

    Droid 1 nov 6 2009 Android 2.0, 2.0.1 in dec, 2.1 os in late march,2.2 in aug 3,2010
    Droid eris Nov 6 Android 1.5 os and upgraded to 2.1 os in may 9th,2010
    Droid incredible April 28th 2010 Android 2.1 os and htc said it upgradeable for 2.2 os and 3.0 os.
    Droid 2 August 12th preloaded with 2.2 os .
    Droid X July 15th preloaded with 2.1 os. Getting 2.2 os in sept.
    LG Ally came out in may 24th 2010 preloaded with 2.1 os and upgrading 2.2 os in late august as lg said.

  • golfpedaler

    ???…So I’m using a rooted Nexus One with the CM6 Rom and it appears I already have this feature. At least it’s listed in my app drawer. Is there a difference?

  • http://Website james

    Fred that is an ignorant thing to say. truth is phones are still coming out with old OS. my desire has only just got the update the 3g is six months old and thats 1.6 and the erricson x10 is running 1.6 and thats what? 3 months old?

    i think though most phones WILL make it to 2.2. then all the ghz phones will get 3.

    on the subject at hand. google, pathetic reason to call a conference. very apple of you “lets call a conference to tell people they can now do what they should have been able to do from the start.”


  • cschle

    ha, nice. no more manual texts for me. not perfect but i can’t type correctly on the screen anyway. ha

  • http://Website matt L

    I am salty that samsung won’t support the moment going to 2.2.
    and I am wondering if the EPIC will see GINGER……….

    • http://Website vanessa

      Salty!?! Hi Salty… Im Sweet. hehe. :p

  • http://Website adam

    Matt sprint already said they wont support htc hero or sammy moment beyond 2.1 os. Be happy u got 2.1 os from 1.5 os . Not to many t-mobile users could of said the same. As me and other need to buy phones from other carrier to get the latest updates.

  • http://Website Glenn

    Still waiting from them to add “Navigate to [contact name]” and some sort of easy voice command to get directions home.

  • nathan118

    Does the listen command not query your actual music library? The only options I get are pandora and

    • anakin78z

      Yep, according to the website it only supports a few apps, all of which seem to be streaming music apps. I’m dumbfounded. How did they not get local music in there?

      • nathan118

        Laaame. Would have been the most useful by far. No need to look through a bunch of bands….just “listen to rise against” and boom, done.

  • http://Website toxis

    Wait, wait wait, this will be avalible only in us? And here i was thinking that internet has no borders… thats an interesting thing to do for a platform that dreams of world domination… or google, being american, thinks that world outside us borders does not exist?:)

  • http://Website @neidlinger

    i got it working on my CM6RC2 HTC magic…

  • http://Website Diordna

    Voice Search seems to be in the Market in Canada now. I just installed it on my Nexus One 2.2.

  • shawnw

    I wonder how one changes the default SMS app Voice Actions uses? I accidentally choice Google Voice and need to change it.

    • anakin78z

      Go to Settings > applications, then find google voice and ‘clear defaults’

  • http://Website DaveC

    If this works as advertised (I’m downloading it now), it will be a nice compensation for giving up my G1′s keyboard for the Nexus One.

  • http://Website james

    ok i have it for the desire.

    couple of things

    1: the text to feature doesnt work. nor does the mail to or note to self. this could be cause of point 3

    2 it is “in the cloud” which, on 3g means it takes an age.

    3: sorry to all the americans out there but.. GOOGLE ENGLISH IS SPOKEN DIFFERENTLY ALL OVER THE WORLD!!!! WE ARENT ALL AMERICAN!!! I speak the queens english and it understands NOTHING. if i fake an american accent everything is ok. If MS can do it why cant you??

  • http://Website DaveC

    My initial testing was disappointing. When I say “send text to john doe testing one to three” the “to:” section of the message is blank, and the text of the message starts with “John Doe” ????

  • PatrickHuey

    im also having the problem trying to download this app for my mytouch running CM6, it wont complete the download. can someone explain me how to fix this?

  • http://Website Hans

    It’s nit installing for me. :/
    I’m running Insanely Clean New Revolution v1.3
    Anyone able to help?

  • http://Website dave

    DOES NOT WORK!!!! none of my contacts come up! i even tried mimicking the kid in the video at the same speed and slower and it never gets the names right! great concept if everyone you know is Tom Tom and you speak like that kid.

  • http://Website peter

    Works perfect on my Desire, but only in english for now.

  • http://Website KEAD

    I’ve done radio, theater, and I currently provide professional voice talent for educational development materials. Despite that, I had horrible results with Voice Search. I’ve enjoyed other Google applications, but this one needs some improvement. I’ve had Vlingo for about 24 hours now, and I’m very pleased with it.

    • keridel

      why have you had a negative result? is there a google fanboy on the loose?

      i agree with you. having seen your post i tried Vlingo. miles and miles better. the standard is higher the app works. it has more functions. AND wonder of wonders it understands me!! it knows i’m british and that i speak english and not American. praise be to the voice gods!

  • http://Website Matt

    Whenever I try use this on my Desire, it only ever comes up with Google search results… I’ve updated all the relevant apps but none of the commands work, even when it gets every single word correct it still Google searches the phrase instead of doing it, can someone help?
    It’s not rooted so don’t tell me to manually edit the sdks or anything else that requires a rooted phone

    • keridel

      this may seem like a silly question but is you desire running 2.2 yet? i just want to make sure because it sounds like you have the old version of it.

    • http://Website Seb

      Same for me the desire does not engage the Voice Action – it just searches for the words instead. Not great.

  • http://Website James

    nexus one running cm6 out of canada got apps installed by using titanium backup (if you dont have get it) to delete old versions of the searches from the phone… REBOOTED PHONE <~~ has to be done,… then downloaded the apps with no trouble working great. And the program should be available everywhere but will only understand a north american english accent not just english itself

  • http://Website miltk

    how is this voice command app better than others that always have problems distinguishing voice commands

  • http://Website vince

    i cannot get my HTC magic 2.2 to work on voice action…=(

  • http://Website Ken

    Utterly useless for music searching.
    I cannot believe that this can’t search thru the music on my phone.
    It only works with Pandora , so not only can I NOT search for or listen to my own music, but I have to deal with the festival of lag that is Pandora on 3g and I can’t actually listen to what I want to hear, only what Pandora thinks is similar to it.

    A real disappointment!