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Google Now Gets Camera, Song Recognition Voice Commands

TMCnet Feature

March 21, 2014

Google Now Gets Camera, Song Recognition Voice Commands

By Rory Lidstone
TMCnet Contributing Writer

Google (News - Alert) has started rolling out a new version of its Android Google Search app, also known as Google Now, that expands its capabilities with new voice commands. In particular, it adds Shazam (News - Alert)-like song identification, while also allowing users to access their camera to take a quick photo or video.

This isn’t a surprising move for Google. After all, Google Now’s biggest improvements have typically revolved around its voice recognition capabilities; expanding them beyond search was only a matter of time. Meanwhile, Google’s efforts in wearables have also acted as a precursor for Google Now’s latest update.

For starters, the types of features being brought to Android (News - Alert) phones today are very similar to those already on Google Glass. This week’s Android Wear announcement is also a factor as the wearable-focused version of Android relies heavily on Google Now and its voice commands running the show. Since Google is all about integrating its offerings lately, it only makes sense to bring the smartphone side of things up to speed.

As for the functionality itself, now users can simply say “OK Google” followed by “take a photo” or “take a video” to immediately access their camera app of choice — which is good news for anyone using third-party camera software. Of course, for those that prefer not to activate Google Now with “OK Google,” it’s possible to tap the microphone icon in the app to access the same commands. Likewise, there are alternate commands for accessing your camera with voice, such as “open camera.”

As for song recognition, users can access Google Now voice search in whatever way they prefer, followed by “listen to TV.” Google will then provide the title, artist and other cover versions of the song. As of now, this feature is available only to U.S. users.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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