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Google Voice on BlackBerry

Google Mobile released a new version of its app for BlackBerrys last week. What’s new? Two features related to voice recognition and location detection.

  • Voice search
  • Search with my location

To run the voice search, you hold down the talk button on your BlackBerry and speak your search term.

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But wait there’s more. Voice search is tuned to work with American, British, and Canadian English.

I ran a quick test on this with a colleague at work. The results were less than convincing for the Brits.

Search term ‘Shoes’

American English returned ‘Shoes’
British English returned ‘Susan’

Search term ‘Cincos Restaurant’
American English returned ‘Kinkos Restaurant’
British English returned a local restaurant in Leeds England. Now that was interesting result. But for the record we were in Decatur Georgia, not Leeds.

Search term ‘Elliot’ (Hullo Elliot)
American English returned ‘Elliot’
British English returned ‘Antietam Centos’ – um, ok?

Just for fun. Search term ‘Susan’
British English returned ‘Feudalism’ – At that point we quit.

Give it shot. To get Google Mobile App on your BlackBerry, you can point your phone’s browser to http://m.google.com

UPDATE 4/13/09

Based on Jeb’s comments I found there is a setting on the application to change to ‘British English’.  I reran the experiment with my co-worker:

Shoes yielded Shins

Susan yielded Suzanne

Elliot yielded NES

Cincos Restaraunt gave a positive match.

While, generally closer there still appears to be some room for fine tuning the British English feature on Google Voice.

  • Jeb

    To clarify, did you test this out with your British colleague? In other words, did you get her to say “shoes” with British English enabled, and Google thought she was saying “Susan”? If so, perhaps you have uncovered a spy who is only pretending to be British!

  • Jeb has a good point. After reading his comment I found that the British English mode is an optional setting. I will retest next week and post the results.