Talking To Google

After getting a surprise gift of a Nexus 7 tablet (nice surprise!), I have been intrigued by Google voice recognition technology. I am originally from Scotland, and have a bit of an accent even after living 30 years in the US. Even so, Google seems to "understand" me quite well, and I find myself using the speech recognition maybe half the time when I do web searches on the tablet. I use the Chrome browser mostly, and Windows users can use the speech search function too, buy clicking the microphone icon to the right of the Google search bar. 

You can also use the "OK, Google" method by using a Chrome extension (where you just say "OK Google" to start the voice recognition process). Google Now (an Android answer to Apple's Siri) uses this approach, although I don't have this enabled on the tablet, as frankly it creeps me out a little to think it is "listening" to me all the time....

Even so, this latter feature will likely show up as a built-in technology in the Chrome browser sooner than later, and it shows how we are slowly but surely drifting away from the point and click heritage we have come to expect in computing devices over the last few decades. 

Smartphones and tablets, from both Apple and Android, have brought us touch screens to play with, and now with Siri and Google Now you can interact quite reliably and productively while barely needing to touch the device.

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