Google may be working on an upgrade to Voice Actions in order to rival Siri

For a long time before Apple's Siri, Android had this nifty little application called Voice Actions. When you held down the search button, it would allow you to issue various commands, such as "send text to", "navigate to", and "listen to". While very functional, it turns out pressing a button and saying a command was not what many users wanted. Instead, they wanted exactly what Apple gave them with Siri: an application that was not only deeply integrated into the OS, but also offered a more casual manner of interaction.

Now, according to some anonymous tips, Google is preparing to fight back against Apple's natural language bot. While you should take it with a hefty dose of sodium chloride, rumor has it that Google will release a more direct Siri competitor in the next few months which will allow users to use natural language to interact with their Android devices. 

The project is apparently called Majel, after the name of the person who voiced Star Trek's Federation Computer, and would be built on Google's already stellar voice recognition software. Continuing in the Star Trek vein, Director of Android User Experience Matias Duarte says about voice commands on Android, "Our approach is more like Star Trek, right, starship Enterprise; every piece of computing surface, everything is voice-aware. It’s not that there’s a personality, it doesn’t have a name, it’s just Computer."

Whether it has a name and personality like Siri or not, the Majel project has the potential to be big. Integrating the already functional Voice Actions with more natural language and a better interface would create an awesome product, and a powerful rival to Siri on almost every front.

[Android and Me]
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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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