Back in Oct 2010 research by Chitika found that voice searches were responsible for 7% of Google mobile queries on the iPhone and 25% percent on Android devices. Now it seems that Google has given full attention to this bit of news by introducing voice search for Maps for mobile and desktop users.
Voice search includes a series of spoken commands that let users control their search using their voice on their phone. Call businesses and contacts, send texts and email, listen to music, browse the web, and complete common tasks, all just by speaking into your phone.
For desktop users this feature is available only for Google Chrome users in the form of a small microphone icon in the Google Maps search box. It looks something like this:
Mobile users can start using voice search by tapping the microphone button on the Google search box or pressing down the physical search button on their phone for a few seconds which activates the “speak now” screen. This feature is useful when you are searching for place names, business names or long phrase searches but it comes most handy when you are searching for directions between two places for example “Directions from Los Angeles to San Francisco” or for difficult to spell places like Poughkeepsie or Liechtenstein.
Google have outlined the new feature in more detail on the following video:
Have you tried out voice search? If so, we would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to share them below.