back to article Android gets talk-tastic Froyo upgrade

Android users lucky enough to get a Froyo upgrade have been busy talking to their telephones, as Google adds voice commands to its platform. Users downloading the latest update to Android, version 2.2 codenamed Froyo (following Google's alphabetically-ordered-snacks naming system), are finding that if they're all alone then …


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  1. Iggle Piggle


    If you are tempted to install the application then take a quick look at the list of rights the application demands. On there you will find "Services that cost you money", "Your personal information", "your location", "Your messages", "Your accounts" and much more. Remember this is brought to you buy the company that effectively said "If you value your privacy then don't use us".

    I understand why the voice control application might need all these rights but there is absolutely nothing that says that they will not misuse the rights. I am belatedly beginning to think that buying a phone from the "Do not evil" empire was a mistake no matter how lovely it is.

  2. Mike Cardwell

    American accents only

    You forgot to mention that it's American English accents only at the moment. It doesn't cope with British accents yet.

    1. GeorgeTuk

      That explains it...

      ...I thought I was doing something wrong!

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      British accents?

      What's a British accent anyway? I have a Scottish accent, and other people can have completely different accents from other parts of Britain.

    3. ml100
      Thumb Up

      You are absolutely right

      A lot of people seem to think their non froyo devices are running this. No device has it pre-installed, thats the standard voice search that doesn't do transcription or much else.

      Eris - not froyo, you dont have it

      X10 - nowhere close to froyo, you dont have it

  3. Tigra 07

    Where did you hear that?

    I can assure you it can cope with British and American accents and comes standard on the X10

    And i wouldn't know about what permissions it requests because it's standard and lower than low risk according to my antivirus.

    Google Maps on the other hand wants an update with every possible permission available and is considered high risk by my anti virus.

    1. Iggle Piggle
      Thumb Down

      Where did I hear it?

      I heard it, or rather read it when I went to install Voice Search. Which is not standard BTW. But this is part of my point, people simply do not read what is presented to them or assume that because it's Google of course they are not out to get me. Talk to the russians who trusted the premium rate dialler trojan and see if they would trust such an application again. Talk to the owners of WiFi that was open. Talk to anyone who has ever used Google and ask them just how much Google knows about them.

      Why would I install an application that requires network access and access to all my personal details. Why is it so unbelievable that Google might just "accidentally" harvest your data (again) and use it to market things to you.

      By the way what are the android equivalent of fan bois?

      1. IPB

        Of course it needs all those permissions

        so it can do the things that I ask it to...

        The people who installed that Trojan installed an app from outside the app market, something you can only do if you root your phone or specifically set an option to allow the phone to do that.

        The people who left their wi-fi open, er, left their wi-fi open when everyone knows that to do so risks snooping or worse and Google have not been shown to have collected anything useful or indeed to have done anything with that data.

        Google are a business. They are there to make money. I use many of their services and pay for none of them. If they want to show me the odd ad based on the content of my email in return good luck to them. I don't have to buy anything and, most importantly, if I object to using their, to me, fantastically useful products because of their marketing then I DON'T HAVE TO USE ANY OF THEM.

        People's paranoia when it comes to Google is absurd and bordering on the stupid.

      2. Tigra 07

        RE: Iggle Piggle

        I have an X10 with Voice Search already installed mate, i didn't hear it from someone else or read it like you, i actually HAVE it.

        So trust me when i say it's standard and can understand British accents

        1. Iggle Piggle

          I own an HTC Desire

          So my comments are not hearsay. I have no doubt that it does what it says on the tin. What I am complaining about is the idea that we have to agree to sell out to Google (or any other app provider) before the application will work.

          I believe that the voice command processing is done by Google on their servers. So now they not only know where you are, what sites you like to visit, who your contact are, they also know what you sound like.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I own an HTC Desire

            "I believe that the voice command processing is done by Google on their servers. So now they not only know where you are, what sites you like to visit, who your contact are, they also know what you sound like."

            It is, and that is why it is so accurate; it's being processed on super-computers instead of a phone. If you don't like that, err, don't use it and wait for an off-line equivalent to surface.

            You might also want to turn off the option for 'Use wireless networks' under Location and Security and avoid any AGPS devices in the future.

            Alternatively, I know a nice hole you could go hide in since you're having a hard time accepting the fact that, in the information age, information is required.

        2. ml100
          Thumb Down

          Thats OLD voice search

          Everyone has the OLD voice search.

          The new one came out a few days ago on their site and on the market yesterday.... if you you have Froyo.

          Since the X10 isnt even shipping with éclair yet I don't think you have it or know what youre talking about.

          On my Samsung Galaxy S [beta froyo ROM] I can confirm it works but is much more comfortable with US accents - as explained in the long terms and conditions. Im sure it will work with the 20 odd languages and accents the OLD voice search does currently...

      3. Ned Ludd

        @By the way what are the android equivalent of fan bois?

        Fandroids, presumably.

      4. BorkedAgain

        Android fanbois


    2. Kay Burley ate my hamster
      Thumb Up

      It works perfectly

      I use the speech recognition on my Android for translation, it's freaking awesome. Speech to speech.

  4. Erroneous Howard


    Is that the distant whine of iPhone fanbois discovering that Android phones can do something that theirs can't? Not to mention having a free full gps navigation app available.

    Personally I always found speech recognition software to be amusing at best, although granted I was reasonably impressed with the google navigation app during the (very short) test that I gave it.

    1. bygjohn


      The iPhone has had voice control since the 3GS.

      1. Disintegrationnotallowed

        Best speech

        Possibly best ever app for speech to text in dragon speaking.

      2. Wrenchy

        re: Bzzzzt!

        My 2003 Samsung phone had voice dialing. What's your point?

        Apple is not the first to put this feature in a phone, and it certainly isn't the best either.

        1. ThomH


          Erroneous Howard made a statement that the iPhone does not do voice recognition. bygjohn replied, pointing out that it does. So I think his point is that Erroneous Howard spoke erroneously, which is relevant and to the point, unlike unrelated ramblings about Samsung phones and whether or not the iPhone was first (you know, given that nobody here claimed or probably even thought that it was).

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @iggle piggle

    That would be fandroids, of course.

  6. JP19
    Thumb Up

    Froyo rules

    Wow, it's looking more and more like Android will become the 'Windows' of the mobile devices. One day soon you will see 90+% of the phones in the world with Android and apple with its piddly 3-4%. Once that happens, apple will be a thing of the past .

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I don't want to be the "Windows" of ANYTHING... That's the *worst* thing you could say about something.

    2. ThomH


      Your argument is that Android will be as ubiquitous on phones as Windows is on desktops, hence Apple will cease to exist?

      Apple's desktop/laptop machines are very profitable and as a result Apple was a very profitable company before the iPod. Thanks to the iPod it was a hugely profitable company before the iPhone. Your conclusion doesn't match your analogy.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Way to go... yet

    Some things seem to work ok - "navigate to", "map of" are reliable, but "send message to rachel" has come up as "sandwiches tube rachel". Similarly I can dictate the body of an email but I can't get it to recognise a contact to send to - do they have to be Gmail contacts perhaps?

    It's slightly better with US English than British, but it's not a patch on the video!


    Reasonably well spoken with southern British accent on HTC Desire, if any of that makes a difference!

  8. Phil Rigby
    Paris Hilton


    I'm an English guy in America (but not New York as Sting spoke about) and I've got Android 2.1 on my Eris and it has no problem at all with my (Manchester) accent. The other natives - well that's a different story, but the phone understands me.

    1. ml100
      Thumb Down

      OLD voice search

      You dont have Froyo - thats 2.2 so you havent tried the new search. The old one is even on blackberry and nokia and supports a load of languages and accents. The article is about the new one

  9. bettername

    Points mean Prizes (and pints)

    Google voice search + pub quiz announcer = automatic, discreet cheating! And more time nipping back to the bar...

  10. JaitcH

    Possibly Nuance has the lot beaten

    I have recently acquired the latest version of Nuance' Dragon Speaking to transcribe field reports I dictate using a headset, albeit in noisy conditions.

    The software is able to handle even the more obtuse words, even technical expressions.

    Perhaps they can be persuaded to write Apps for all mobile OS as they seem to have gotten the problems locked using many accents.

  11. amirK

    Writing advice

    Don't know why, but I just had the urge to edit this article.

    "Android users lucky enough to get a Froyo upgrade have been busy talking to their telephones, as Google adds voice commands to its platform."

    --First of all, unless you've witnessed people talking to their phones this is a lie. Second of all, the seoncd clause ("as Google adds") implies that people are talking to their phones at the same time Google is in the process of adding these new features.

    "Users downloading the latest update to Android, version 2.2 codenamed Froyo (following Google's alphabetically-ordered-snacks naming system), are finding that if they're all alone then they can always speak to their phones."

    --Filler sentence. This doesn't add anything to the article.

    "It might be hard to imagine people walking around talking to their telephones, but it's worth remembering that a decade or so ago it was hard to imagine people walking around talking on their telephones."

    --more useless fluff

    "as evidenced by Cupertino's purchase of Siri in April."

    --Apple is not a country. You can't use Cupertino as a stand-in for Apple.

    "in a variety of comedy accents."

    --You mean "comical accents." But comical is a stupid way to say funny, so just say funny.

    1. Arctic fox

      Re "Writing advice"

      My choice of icon is the only comment I need to make.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is Google Voice Actions before the time???

    Is Google Voice Actions before the time???

    I think so...

    Google Voice actions is a “cool” new feature for Android (Froyo 2.2). With this new feature you are able to tell your phone what to do, with just your voice.

    Pretty cool stuff — everything just works the way you would expect. Kind of. The feature is awesome, but after all is said and done, I think there may still be a few issues that need to be worked out before people can effectively make use of this.

    To read more.... Please check it out @

  13. Kristian Walsh

    "A decade ago..." ??

    Thirty years ago, maybe, the idea of a "mobile telephone" might have been novel.

    A decade ago, the only wonder in telecoms was about how the then-new 3G licencees would ever pay back the costs of acquiring their licences.

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