Google Android users can now use gestures to search on their devices on many more languages than just English.
The latest version 2.1.1 of Gesture Search, released by Google on the Play Store June 12, now can help users find information on their Android phones and tablets in some 40 different languages, according to a post on the search giant’s Google+ page.
“When you use your phone, sometimes it’s easier to handwrite and use gestures than type,” stated the post. “We’ve updated our Gesture Search app for your Android phone or tablet to recognize a mix of over 40 languages for quick access to content in an array of languages.”
The revised new app lets users access contacts, applications, settings, music and bookmarks on their Android devices by drawing letters or numbers, while refining the search results as gestures are added, the post states. The process is “learned” by the device and app as the user develops a search history.
The new app recognizes native characters for more than 40 languages and supports transliteration among the supported languages, according to the post. Pinyin initials, part of a simplified Chinese language, are also usable for Chinese language users.
Google Gesture Search was launched in March 2010 as a project of the Google Labs research team.
The project is just one of a steady stream of Android and search innovations that are seemingly always under development at Google.
Reports recently surfaced that Google just patented a process that would recognize a user’s unique facial expressions, including a stuck-out tongue, a frown, a smile or even a wrinkled nose, to help authenticate and unlock the device. The facial-recognition patent application describes technology that would match images and facial “landmarks” to help positively identify a user and allow the mobile device to be unlocked. Though the patent application has been filed, it doesn’t mean that this kind of app will definitely appear for Android users.
For Google, mobile security is a huge issue because of its large Android user base. As of May 2013, Android has now been activated on 900 million mobile devices, up from 400 million a year ago, according to Google.
In May, Google released its Google Chrome 27 Web browser, which for the first time included a conversational search feature that allows users to “talk” to the browser to conduct their searches without having to use a keyboard. The feature is found in the new Chrome Search box, which includes a small microphone icon on the right side of the search box. When clicked, the feature lets users verbally ask Chrome to help with a search.
The conversational search feature was unveiled earlier in May at the Google I/O 2013 developers conference, where it was announced as an upcoming capability in Chrome. Google apparently wasted no time bringing the feature to Chrome.
Presently, the feature requires users to click on the microphone icon to make their verbal requests. But over time, users will be able to perform searches by voice alone—without the need for a click of the microphone, according to Google.