Google Brings Voice Search To Maps On Blackberry Mobile Phones

Today Google announced a download that enables voice search for Google Maps on Blackberry devices. This is very much like the existing Windows Live Search for Mobile service with voice or Tellme for Blackberry devices (also Microsoft). Yahoo also recently integrated Vlingo’s speech technology into oneSearch.

It’s reportedly built on the same speech recognition engine as Goog411. Right now it’s only available for Blackberry devices as part of a Google Maps download. I’m sure it will be expanded for all phones that can run the Google Maps application.

Speech recognition and voice search are imperfect but generally pretty good at this point and rapidly improving. Voice integration is significant because it improves usability and increases the usage and search frequency of these applications.

The average Google mobile search user conducts nine searches per month according to Nielsen:

* Google: 9 searches per month * Yahoo! 6.7 searches per month

By contrast, “mobile answers” engine ChaCha, which uses a voice-in text-out approach, has said its users conduct as many as 40 queries per month. That difference is largely about usability and voice as an input, as opposed to a keypad or virtual keyboard.

Nuance and others are working on speech and voice search for the iPhone. There’s some additional discussion of Google and voice search on my Local Mobile Search blog.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Maps & Local | Google: Voice Search

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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