Google announced voice search is coming to Gmail, Calenders and Google+, and it will first debut to US English speakers before rolling out more widely.
Search for Flight Info, Images on Google+
Voice searching for flight data, package tracking, reservation information, upcoming events and even images on Google+ will all be enabled by tapping the microphone icon in the search box and speaking directly to the search engine.
This capability had already been in place with Google Now, but it's now moving to Google Search, Roy Livne, Google product manager wrote in a blog post. It only works when a person is signed into Google, Livne noted, and it can be turned off by tapping the globe icon at the top of a search results page.
This disables showing private results, and won't show them for that search. For a more permanent way to disable it, there is a toggle under search settings to do so. Google is constantly tweaking its search features, and with voice search, that's not likely to change. While voice search has been available for some time now, the timing of it coming to Gmail really couldn't have been worse.
More Privacy Woes
Only days before announcing the move, word leaked out that Google has in fact been reading people's emails after the statement appeared in a brief requesting the dismissal of a class action lawsuit related to data mining. No big deal right? We know it reads emails for advertising purposes, and obviously for spam filtering.
The problem is Google's motion states people don't have an expectation of privacy when it comes to Google's services, and that it's made clear in the terms of service. The Internet being the Internet, of course, found this to be a bit too much, and Google is already fighting near constant privacy battles.
Google voice search debuted one year ago for iOS devices, and in June, it the ability to search Gmail contacts was announced. We don't know how popular those two activities are, so it's hard to say exactly how popular the new features will be either.
On mobile devices, we could see it being fairly popular, but less so on laptops and desktops. Especially in the workplace where many are using Google Apps.