LONDON: Google is reportedly planning to expand its existing voice-recognition assistant for Android that will allow users to perform actions in their natural language similar to how Apple iPhone's Siri functions.
According to AndroidandMe.com, the company is planning to add a natural language processing feature to Google Voice Actions, already available on most Android phones.
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Voice Actions allows users to give commands by saying keywords such as "send text to". But the updated software could allow it to respond to commands by using more natural verbiage, similar to Apple's Siri.
The feature has been codenamed "Majel," after the woman who does the voice of the computer in Start Trek: The Next Generation, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
It's expected Google will use Majel for search queries at first, and will incorporate other commands such as controlling phone and app actions down the line.
Majel could be released before the end of the year, but more likely in the next few months, the report said.
Apple Inc had unveiled a new version of its smartphone, the iPhone 4S, in October. The new phone is equipped with The "Siri" voice-command software which had pundits gushing over its ease of use versus rivals' offerings. Siri allows for using voice to send messages, make calls, set reminders and many other things.
The handset is also equipped with the new operating system iOS 5 and has over 200 new features, including notification centre and Twitter integration. The phone hit the US market Oct 14.
The software upgrades - including voice commands for everything from sending messages to searching for stock prices -- may be enough to keep people hooked on iPhones.
iPhone 4S sold more than four million units in three days since its launch Oct 14, making it the fastest-selling iPhone ever. More than one million units were pre-ordered in the first 24 hours after the new product was revealed Oct 4.