Android 2.2 gets voice control and instant desktop-mobile transfer

Google doesn't seem to be slowing down development as more functionality is added for lucky Android 2.2 users

Google has added a couple of funky functions to Android, but you'll have to wait until you get the 2.2 Froyo update before you can enjoy them.

If you're lucky enough to have an up to date Android device, you can download an update that allows you to control the phone with your voice, and another that instantly sends links, maps and phone numbers from Google Chrome directly to your phone.

With Voice Actions for Android, you can do stuff like call, send texts and email, listen to music, browse the Web and other common tasks by simply speaking into your phone.

To enable it, you need to tap the microphone button on the Google search box on your home screen, or press down for a few seconds on the physical search button on your phone.

One problem you might encounter with this is that it's programmed to work only for US English speakers, meaning there might be issues with translation and accents.

There's also an updated version of the Google search widget available. Your music apps will need to be updated in order for them to work with voice commands.

The other update is an extension called Chrome to Phone, which is also only available if you're running Android 2.2. This sends whatever current Web page, map, YouTube vid, selected phone number or text you're browsing using Chrome to your mobile device.

This would be useful, for example, when you're browsing a Web site and need to rush off quickly, but you still need to refer to the Web page while you're out and about. You can click an extension icon in Chrome and it will send the link to the mobile device's browser to view.

For Google Maps addresses and phone numbers, this could be particularly useful, as you wouldn't have to go through the whole rigmarole of remembering the details and typing them out again.

This only saves a matter of seconds, of course, since copying down an address or phone number is relatively quick and easy. But, if you don't have a pen and paper and have a bad memory for numbers, it could be very useful.

If you have Android 2.2 and want the new functions, install the extension on your Google Chrome browser and download the app from the Android Market.

 

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