Voice Management: Why Is There Discontent Over Google's Voice Search?
August 13, 2012
By Steve Anderson
, Contributing TMCnet Writer
It seems like only yesterday there was talk of Android's (News - Alert) Ice Cream Sandwich release, and now here we are staring down Google's latest sugary treat in operating systems – Android 4.1 – otherwise known as Jelly Bean. Perhaps one of the biggest new arrivals with Jelly Bean is the addition of Google (News - Alert) Voice Search, but oddly enough, the announcement of a major new feature is being met with significant disappointment...for Android users.
Android users are actually disappointed by the move to bring in Google Voice Search primarily because of its release schedule. While it will be part of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the first ones to get it as a stand-alone feature won't be folks packing Ice Cream Sandwich. It also won't be folks packing Gingerbread – which is still regarded as the most widely-used version of Android – either. It will in fact be Apple (News - Alert) users.
Yes, one of the biggest features of Jelly Bean will make its first appearance as a stand-alone app on iOS.
Naturally, Google has plans to bring out updates that will allow the system to hit on Android devices running pre-4.1 software, but Google's plans are of the vaguest sort, essentially promising the update sometime between now and the heat death of the universe.
It's not surprising that Google's plan for a stand-alone version is going to iOS first. After all, Google likely wants to encourage users to update to Jelly Bean, and given how many users are still using a much older version of Android, bringing updated users into the fold with extra bells and whistles makes sense.
Additionally, Google doubtless wants to reassert its dominance as a search tool over Siri, and the only way they're going to do that is to show Apple users exactly why they shouldn't leave Google for Siri. Google likely knows full well that there's no way Android users are going to start using Siri, so why court that market? They're a captive audience!
This, however, is the problem at hand; this is a huge thumb in the collective eye of Android users. Google is essentially treating its own user base like second-class citizens, and that's not likely to win them many friends. With a new iPhone waiting in the wings, this may well be the straw that breaks a few camels' backs, ultimately doing more harm than good in the long run.
The ultimate result of Google's controversial move will, of course, only be told with the passage of time, but it's the kind of thing that should set at least some teeth on edge at Google itself.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo