Google announced that its mobile voice search offering is now available in several, new European flavors. It has been available for English, Mandarin and Japanese until this point. Now Google will be offering voice search in French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
Voice search is popular — though Google so far hasn’t provided any precise numbers — but it’s also a strategic product for the company. It helps make search easier (in many cases) and more accessible on mobile devices. Google Voice Search, the Quick Search Box, Google Maps/Navigation and Google Goggles are all efforts, among others, to keep “search” front and center on mobile devices.
As I discussed this past weekend, mobile apps (a form of vertical search) have become an alternative to using general search for content and navigation on mobile devices. By removing “friction” from mobile search, partly with voice input, Google hopes to position itself as the same kind of universal gateway to content that it is on the PC.