Voice search: a review

A little over two weeks ago my favourite search engine (favourite because I’m too lazy to try the others) rolled out voice search and search by image. I tried them out so that, if you’ve not yet got a chance to use them, you can raise or lower your expectations accordingly 🙂

I wasn’t expecting great success with voice search, considering my Kenyan accent and all. I was pleasantly surprised!

Searches that went well

These were simple queries which yielded what I was looking for as the first result:

Voice search for national parks in Namibia
Voice search for national parks in Namibia

The people behind voice search recommend it for recipes:

Voice search for a recipe
Voice search for a recipe

Conversions worked fantastically!

Voice search for currency conversion
Voice search for currency conversion
Voice search for weight conversions
Voice search for weight conversions

Be sure not to leave out the word ‘degrees’:

Voice search for temperature conversions
Voice search for currency conversions

Searches that kind of went well

My search term wasn’t the first, but almost:

Voice search for the definition of 'specious'
Voice search for the definition of 'specious'

I was getting flustered so I went looking for the introductory video I’d watched:

Voice search for a voice search help video
Voice search for a voice search help video

Searches that were epic fails

The nice engineer in the video (or maybe the text on the page, I don’t recall) said that I could do translations with voice search. I beg to differ:

Voice search for 'Highway Code in Italian' (1)
Voice search for 'Highway Code in Italian' (1)

I tried again:

Voice search for 'Highway Code in Italian' (2)
Voice search for 'Highway Code in Italian' (2)

They also said voice search was good for long queries:

Voice search for 'Photos of archaeological sites in Turkey' (1)
Voice search for 'Photos of archaeological sites in Turkey' (1)

Woe is my non-American accent:

Voice search for 'Photos of archaeological sites in Turkey' (2)
Voice search for 'Photos of archaeological sites in Turkey' (2)

How about a long query made up of simple words, in this case the fragment of a hymn that’s been floating through my head?

Voice search using a 20-word query
Voice search using a 20-word query
Voice search using a 20-word query (2)
Voice search using a 20-word query (2)

Here’s what I was searching for: “What more can He say than to you He has said, to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled”.
Just because I could, I tried some foreign place names. I tried to look for this cemetery in Paris.

Voice search for a place in France
Voice search for a place in France

I searched for this tourist trap with a passable French accent:

Voice search for another place in France
Voice search for another place in France

Conclusion

My Italian accent is way better than my American one, so maybe I’ll use voice search more when it expands geographically. Or maybe I’ll just stick to typing in stuff.

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