Friday , October 20 2017

Google’s new Australian voice can really belt out a mean tune and also understand a lot of new Aussie terms

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 10.57.51 am
Last week we all started hearing a little more Aussie twang in our Android phones, with Google’s voice search starting to respond in a decidedly Australian accent. Today Google Australia has released a new video showing off the new voice in action.

It’s pretty widely known that mobile search traffic has now taken over desktop searches world wide, and with mobile voice search queries more than doubling globally in the past year there’s a push to provide more services which enhance those mobile searches.

A friendly Australian voice on your phone certainly does enhance the mobile search experience, as does having all the names right which Google Australia has shown off today with this video of the voice belting out I’ve Been EveryWhere Man song blitzing through a bunch of Australian place names and it’s pretty darn good.

To get the level of accuracy required for launching the Australian voice, the team at Google checked the pronunciation of tens of thousands of Australian place names. But it’s not perfect. The pronunciation of Tuggeranong in ACT is still delightfully wrong, but the team is keen for feedback and if you hear one that’s incorrect hit the three lines in the top left of the Google App and select ‘Send Feedback’.

Google’s adding a voice with an Australian accent is only the surface layer, there are also a number of good Australian colloquialisms brought into the mobile search. Aussies can now also search or perform voice functions with a healthy sprinkling of the local vernacular, with commands such as:

  • OK Google, take me to the nearest Maccas.
  • OK Google, send a message to Darren, are we on for footy this arvo?
  • OK Google, where is the closest servo?
  • OK Google, remind me to buy milk next time I’m at Woolies.
  • OK Google, what’s the temperature like in Brissy?
  • OK Google, show me pictures of quokka selfies.
  • OK Google, what does the sheep say?
  • OK Google, what is the most livable city?
  • OK Google, what is a drop bear?

Google has also updated their threaded search which relates to Australian subjects, similarly to the update that hit the US last year. You can search with inferred reference to your previous such, like so:

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 2.49.15 PM

The team at Google is also interested in keeping the voice up to date and will be adding more Aussie terms to the library over time as they appear.

We’re having a good time with the new Australian voice and it’s only going to get better.

 

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

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5 Comments on "Google’s new Australian voice can really belt out a mean tune and also understand a lot of new Aussie terms"

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Greg Blackshaw
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Greg Blackshaw

Does anyone know if Google’s worked out how to pronounce Koo-wee-rup yet?

It used to be quite entertaining

Adrian
Valued Guest
Adrian

That drop bear result was bollocks. No respectable Australian response is going to list a drop bear as a hoax!
Regarding the video – bloody perfect way to demonstrate it!

Jayson Barber
Valued Guest
Jayson Barber

So what’s the likelihood of getting navigation to speak strayan?

At the very least it would be good if nav honoured my TTS setting and speak UK English rather than the disgusting US voice that it insists on spewing out 99% of the time…. Unless there’s some other random setting somewhere I’ve missed.

Jayson Barber
Valued Guest
Jayson Barber

So update: just used nav and she spoke strayan! So comforting!

Member

Hahaha, when the voice-over in the video said “okay google, my own phone paused the video and brought up the Google Now listening interface, waiting for me to speak.

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