Another useful and handy app that busy private detectives will benefit from is the Google Voice Search App. As the name suggests, this app allows you to search by using your voice, rather than by typing words and numbers into a computer or mobile device. Since private investigators spend a great deal of time “in the field”, they don’t always have immediate access to a personal computer. In addition, detectives who perform surveillance need their hands to be free to operate equipment such as cameras and video equipment. The ability to conduct internet searches and queries in a “hands free” fashion is of great convenience for detectives. Here’s an overview of how to use it:
How to Download the Google Voice Search App
The first step is to download the app to your mobile device or tablet. Depending on your device, you need to go to either Google Play for Android or iTunes for IOS to download the app. It is easy and straightforward and after the download is complete, open the settings to set your language preferences. Click on the Search & Now icon, then Voice, followed by languages. Select the languages you are capable of mustering and use on a regular basis and return to your homepage.
To download and install for Android devices, go https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox
How to use the Google Voice Search App
Most people are familiar with the normal process of search engine queries. A keyboard is used to enter keywords into a search field, then a search button or image is clicked and a page of results is displayed. This is a universally understood method for using search engines, searching specific websites or software applications, and searching content various devices such as computers, tablets and mobile devices. With the Google Voice Search feature, all you need is your voice to conduct a search or ask question.
To use the Google Voice Search app, simply touch the icon to launch the Google Search application on your device. Once the search application opens, simply say, “Ok Google” to activate the voice search feature. As an alternative, simply touch the microphone icon on the right side of the search box. At this point, the app has begun listening and is ready for your query.
Search Results, Responses to Questions
The results of the search can also be different. In some cases, the application will provide a page of search engine results, similar to what you get when using a keyboard and computer. In cases when Google knows the exact answer, it will respond with audio.
The app will provide results in the same language used to ask the question. If you ask a question in English, it will respond in English. If you ask in Italian, it will provide a response in Italian. This occurs despite your physical location. Note: Only one language can be used per query. Don’t mix different languages within the same question.
Sample Voice Search Commands
Following are some examples of how Google Voice can be used. Just activate the app by saying “Ok Google”, then follow with the command or question:
- Set reminders, calendar and alarms. Just activate the app, tell it to set a reminder and it will walk you through the steps. At the time of the event, an alarm will sound. This can be a helpful feature if you have a meeting with a client.
- Get travel directions. This feature allows you to ask for directions to a specific location, ask where is the closest service station or business, ask for major attractions in a city, ask flight updates, or where a hotel is located. This could be used in surveillance situations.
- Check the weather. Ask, “How cold will it be tomorrow?” This feature can be useful when planning travel or surveillance missions.
- Define the meaning of a word. This can be incredibly helpful when brushing up on the meaning of various legal terms.
- Solve math problems. For example, “Ask what is x times y?” and it will give you the answer. This could be useful in situations when you need to calculate distance, such as in a traffic accident investigation.
- Find the time, even in other cities. For example, “What time is it in Los Angeles, California?”
In addition to asking questions, the application can also be used to control certain aspects of your device. For example, you can ask it to turn on or off the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, turn the flashlight feature on or off. etc.
In non-work situations, you can use the feature to:
- Ask trivia questions – “How many Presidents have there been in the United States?”
- Activate entertainment features on your phone. Ask “Ok Google” to take a picture, show you pictures on your device, ask current movies at the theater or where a specific movie is showing, learn what is currently on the news, identify a song or even ask it to play a song and much more.
Also, it allows you to search for information contained within an app within your device – “search for Mexican food on Pinterest”
To adjust the voice search settings on the Google app, touch the menu icon in the corner of the screen. Go to settings, then Voice, and then “Ok Google” detection. This is where you decide when you want your device to listen whenever you say the words, “Ok Google”.
Pros and Cons
There are plenty of pros to using Google Voice, especially considering that it is available for free. The app is very straightforward and easy to use. It has strong speech recognition capabilities and supports over fifty languages, including automatic detection of the spoken language. It is continuously updated to improve usability and features.
Given the amount of use and convenience offered, this application is one that is worth paying for.
There are only a few cons. Mainly, the application sometimes gets the query wrong depending on the clarity of the speech command.
We consider this to be an essential app for every private detective who travels internationally. The efficiency and time-saving benefits are considerable. The time it saves instead of asking for directions when looking for places, businesses or streets especially in an unknown city, is immeasurable. It is more than a silly gimmick as many thought when it first became available and Google continues to improve the spoken word in making searching results accurate and voice recognition more advanced. It is one of the most important productivity tools private investigators use in finding the needed information in record time. It is an appealing app, which solves one of the biggest annoyances, which is constant typing when looking for something. More than just looking for something it also informs you of valuable information in regards to bookings made, destination details and even finding an available hotel at the rates you want.
Learn about other Private Investigator Apps and software for Private Eyes.