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Expert Stuff: Google's Mike Cohen

What Google applications are currently using speech recognition?

A little over two years ago [2009] we released voice search, and so that's basically all of Google searches on smartphones, you can do by speaking. That's widespread. It gets lots and lots of usage. A little over a year ago [2010], we released something called Voice Input, and what that means is on Android, anytime the keypad pops up, there's also a little microphone button. So whether that keypad pops up in the middle of some application, or when you're surfing the web, filling out a form, if the keypad pops up you can also hit that microphone button and speak. To me, that was a very important step towards this vision of really ubiquitous speech access. That was released in January, a little over a year ago.

This past August [2010], we released something called Voice Actions, and for eight or nine typical things that people do, like place calls, search for business, do navigation, go to Web pages, set their alarm, listen to music, send a SMS message, send an e-mail, things like that, they can now, from that search bar, make that request and have that action happen. So I can say, "Send text message to Steve Smith. Meet me at 7 p.m." and it will send him a text message, things like that. So those are the main things right now for mobile. More generally, what we're moving towards in the future is truly ubiquitous input. Any time you want to be able to speak, we want it to be available.