Apple’s Siri may be grabbing all the limelight right now and perhaps deservedly so. It is pretty good after all. But as the faithful at Team Google know, Voice Actions has been a part of the Android experience since the 2.2 Froyo days.

With Ice Cream Sandwich, voice actions on Android phones are set to get a boost which ought to see this functionality improve on phones and tablets going forwards.

The main difference between voice actions on Froyo and Ice Cream Sandwich is that Android 4.0 will support live transcriptions of your speech; Froyo waits ‘til you’ve finished talking before stopping the recording and transcribing your verbage.

This is all well and good if, like us, your diction is perfect and your speech makes the Queen sound common. If you make a mistake however, or the microphone doesn’t pick up a certain word, you could end up with a big paragraph full of typos and incorrect words.

Live word-by-word transcription ought to cut down on this; you’ll see any snafus as they appear live. That pot luck feeling of ‘will it, won’t it work’ ought to disappear.

Over on the Android Developers blog, a detailed post by Android engineer Luca Zanolin takes input method developers through the process of adding this next level version of voice typing to their apps.

So while Android inputs methods like SwiftKey X have featured the old-school way of speech-to-text transcribing in the past, we’ll hopefully see it replaced with the new-school version pretty darn soon.

As well as improving input methods, this also allows for more accurate voice searches, so sat nav apps and anything that uses search features come to think of it, will see a boost going forwards too.

Source: Android Developers