In order to help users search for content online by simply speaking into their Android phones,
Tech giant Google has now added voice search capability for eight additional Indian languages.
Currently, in India, the voice search feature in Google is available in English and Hindi only. However, the search feature will now get other languages like Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Telugu, Urdu, Bengali, Malayalam and Tamil as well.
"Globally, we now support voice search for 119 languages. We are introducing support for 30 new languages today, of which eight are Indian languages," Google Technical Program, Manager Daan van Esch told the press. "Starting today, speakers of these languages will be able to use their voice to dictate queries -- both in Gboard on Android as well as in Search through the Google App."
In order to perform a voice-based search, users will need to set their language in the voice settings menu in the Google app. Users can just tap the microphone icon (usually on the home screen of Android smartphones) to start a voice search.
Lately, Google has been ramping support for Indian languages across its various products like Maps and Search. This might particularly be due to a large number of the new users coming online are Indic language users.
Esch described that Google has worked with native speakers to collect speech samples. Further according to him machine learning models were trained to understand the various sounds and words, thus translating words from sound to text in the process. "Voice input for each of these languages is expected to get better over time, as more and more native speakers use the product," he added.
Earlier this year, Google announced the launch of new products and features to help create more language content and address the needs of new users coming online. So this move basically comes as many users prefer to use voice to dictate a message as it is convenient and also faster than typing.
Meanwhile, a report by Google-KPMG states that an estimated 536 million Indians are expected to use regional languages while remaining online by 2021 as compared to about 199 million users who are expected to access the web in English. This growth will be driven by increasing affordability of devices and data charges as well as the availability of more local content, the report noted.
Interestingly, the report has also pointed that apart from Hindi, Marathi and Bengali users are expected to drive volume growth, while Tamil, Kannada, and Telugu users are expected to be among the most digitally engaged through 2016 to 2021.
"Voice search in these new languages will be available in Google Search on iOS as well. These will soon be extended to other Google apps and products, including the Translate app," the company said.