Dragon Go! recently pushed out a major upgrade to its iOS app, which lets you verbally request more multimedia content, retrieve information from more sources and interact with Google Plus. The app now integrates with Netflix, Spotify, Wolfram Alpha and Ask.com, in addition to a host of other sources, from Twitter to CNN.Mobile voice search app
The purpose of Dragon Go! is to allow users to search for content and information on their smartphone using only their voice. Google has offered voice search on iOS and Android for quite some time, but this takes things to the next level by working across apps and pulling data from various sources.
If I tell the app that "I feel like listening to Abbey Road by The Beatles," it will pull the album up so I can play it from my iTunes library. Alternatively, I can start a station on Last.fm or Pandora or search for the album on Spotify (if only The Beatles catalog was available there).
Asking "What's the latest news from Iran?" will pull up search results for "Iran" from CNN.com. Looking for a place to get coffee? Say, "Where can I find a cup of coffee nearby?" and it will list the nearest coffee shops on Yelp. All told, the results are pretty accurate.
I remember the first time I tried Google's voice search feature in 2008. It seemed to struggle even with simple phrases. The technology has since improved and it shows in apps like Dragon Go! and Siri. As this technology gets better and better, commanding our smartphones using only our voices becomes a closer reality. This has implications not just for how we use the Web at home or work, but also when we're walking down the street or driving a car. Imagine being able to remote control your Internet-connected TV by voice (not to mention the other smart appliances we'll have in our homes).
While some of this sounds like Back to the Future, apps like Dragon Go! may offer us a glimpse at the not-too-distant future as well. Like, next week.
Last year, Apple acquired Siri, a company that makes a "virtual personal assistant" app much like Dragon Go! They're widely expected to be integrating Siri's technology into the iPhone 5, making voice-controlled operations a system-wide feature. The new feature, called Assistant, is likely to be a part of the new iPhone that Apple CEO Tim Cook reveals next week.
Even if Apple's own take on voice-controlled smartphone operation isn't ready for prime time yet, it's safe bet we'll see it before long, as this technology is ripe and works pretty effectively, as the new Dragon Go! update demonstrates.