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from the L.A. Times

Google speaks to Android fans with new voice recognition feature

Google unveiled a voice recognition feature Thursday for the latest Android phones.

Google hopes the new feature will fuel sales of Android phones, which already are soaring in popularity in the United States, surpassing Apple’s iPhone. Android phones crept past iPhones in the second quarter, nabbing the No. 3 position behind Nokia and Research in Motion phones, according to research firm Gartner Inc.

The spread of Android phones also helps the momentum of Google’s other products such as search, maps and e-mail and competes with Apple’s application Siri.

The new Android application, Voice Actions, is truly hands-free. It allows people to tell their phones to send e-mails, make calls, play music or get driving directions rather than having to type the requests. The feature is free but is available only on Android 2.2 and only in English. It will come preloaded on Motorola and Verizon’s Droid 2 phones. Users could already conduct Internet searches through voice commands on Android phones.

-- Jessica Guynn

 
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