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Google Mobile App

Google Mobile App - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

CUTTS: Hi, everybody. I wanted to talk to you about another hidden gem that Google provides. It’s a Google Mobile App and it does voice recognition really, really well. So, it’s kind of amazing. Whenever it launched, the voice recognition was quite good, but if you haven’t tried it recently, in my experience, it’s gotten even better. So, I thought I’d take a few queries that I’ve done recently and a few fun queries and just try knocking through them and see how well Google voice recognition works in the Google Mobile App. It’s a free application for the iPhone. I believe you can also get it for Android. And it’s really pretty easy. You just press the button or you can just hold it up to your ear and your mouth and you can just speak and it will try to recognize your voice and give you good search results. So, let’s give it a try. Behavioral economist. Cool, that worked completely fine. Let’s try another one. Ed Felton, DMCA. Yep, it absolutely nailed it. It gives me a useful Wikipedia page at number one. Okay, let’s try a local business now. Fox Theater, Redwood City, California. Yep, it nails it. It gives you the local business location, phone number, you can even get directions. That was a theater that I had recently visited as part of a search panel by the way. So, my mom is in China right now, so let’s see if we kind find out what time it is for her. Time in Beijing. Oh, so it’s pretty early in the morning for her, so I probably shouldn’t call her yet, we’ll let her wake up a little bit more. Let’s do some unit conversions. Thirty-nine centimeters in inches. There you go, it’s about 15.3 inches. So, you can get some really nice quick answers. In fact, here’s an answer I’ve been wanting. Answer to life, the universe and everything. Sure enough, it knows the answer is 42 because we’ve read the “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.” Let’s try a few from my search history. This one is relatively recent, but pretty useful. Safe browsing API, Safari Firefox. And you can see that it completely nailed it. So you can read all about the safe browsing API. How about custom-made piñata? Now, see what’s interesting is it added just a little bit to the beginning of the query but were smart enough to be able to still find custom-made piñatas. So this is still really good quality. In fact, let’s try Google quality guidelines. Sure enough, it completely nailed that. Let’s try a few random queries. Sheraton Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts. It absolutely got it. You can even see where it’ll give you phone numbers and directions. That’s where I’m going to stay next week for a conference. So that’s very helpful. So there’s one last thing that you might want to know about the Google Mobile App, and that’s that it has an Easter egg. If you click on settings, you find all the way down, you can browse down, and it looks like you can only see about pages, but if you do a little trick where you just do this and you keep flicking it up like ten or twenty times, eventually you’ll unlock an Easter egg, a new feature called “Bells and Whistles.” And whenever you go into Bells and Whistles, you can access all kinds of fun things. There’s the theme color so you can pick, oh, you can go with blue instead of whatever the traditional theme is. You can choose different sounds. So, by default, we do something interesting, but, you know, you could choose chicken or monkey if you’d prefer. And we show you the Live Wave form, which I think sounds kind of interesting, and you can open the links inside of the Apps so it doesn’t open up a separate browser. So, given all these settings, let’s go over and do another search. For example, you could search for something like Fox Theater, Redwood City, California. And you can see the wave form show up as you’re actually searching for it. And it opens up right in the App. It doesn’t have to open up a separate browser or anything like that. Also, it makes chicken and monkey noises, and that’s just fun.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


Original video: