Google App Review

Posted on February 27, 2011


For a long time I hated the main Google app and deleted it off my phone. It seemed to offer very little that my phone couldn’t already do. However, I’ve heard some more buzz lately about Google stepping up the game with their mobile app and gave it a try – it’s had the features I’m going to discuss for a while now, but it wasn’t until recently that I’ve heard them talked about a little more. I gave it a second try and these features are the apps only redeeming quality (at least that’s what I think).

Some of the new features they’ve added are: using your camera to search the web (I’ll explain in a minute) and voice search. I wasn’t sure how accurate either would be so I tried both out myself and took a plethora of screen shots to document it. I’ve placed captions under the pictures to explain this pretty cool process they’ve perfected.

When you first try picture or voice search it brings up a nice little tutorial. As pictured, you see what it recommends you use picture search for: Books/DVDs, Landmarks, Logos, Contact info, Artwork, Businesses, Products, Barcodes and Text.
I decided to test a couple of these out. So I grabbed a household device and clicked on the picture search and snapped a photo.
 Once the picture was snapped these snazzy little squares floated up on the screen looking for “clues” in the picture.
A few seconds later two of the squares landed on the biggest “clues” and offered me two options to choose for search (Gillette or Hydra-Scrub Nino). I just had to touch one to continue my search. I clicked on the first option, and, yep, it was right.
 So, I decided it needed a couple more tries. I tried Clorox cleaner next.
 Yep, got it right.
 Next I tried the voice chat by touching the microphone option you see here in the picture. I spoke, “How to cure eczema.” and it got it perfectly.

However, just in case it did not get it correct, it also offered a list of possible corrections. Nice touch.

I went back to picture search and tried a book to see if it would get that as well.

And, lastly, tried a bar code. Yep, got that one, too.

It’s obvious Google has put a lot of work into the new features (more later on some of their other apps like Translate and Latitude). I will definitely  be keeping the app this time and can see myself using it a lot more when I’m shopping (price comparisons) or want to get a quick rating on a restaurant or business and don’t feel like typing out all the info. Also, I can see the voice search really coming in handy when driving (while of course waiting to read the result until parking). :D

Still, I would like to see Google add more of their services (that you can access on a regular computer) integrated into this app. Worth the download though (if you haven’t already). It’s free, so why not!

I give the updates 4 out of 5 stars. What about you? Are these search options enough to get you to use this app?

Posted in: Utilities