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Published on April 12th, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Google Voice Search now available in Bahasa Malaysia

Google in Malaysia has announced the availability of Google Voice Search in Bahasa Malaysia. Previously already available in English, Google Voice Search gives people a fast, natural way to search the web from their mobile phones by speaking their queries instead of typing them.
With over 31.5 million cellular phone subscribers, a penetration rate of 108.8 percent and smartphones accounting for two of every five mobile phones sold in 2010, Malaysia has seen a large growth in the amount of search queries being done through phones, compared to PCs. Using Google’s mobile app, users can now even more easily do a search while they’re on the go by simply clicking on the microphone button beside the search bar and speaking directly into the phone in Bahasa Malaysia or in any of the other 19 languages that Voice Search recognises. “Malaysian consumers are sophisticated mobile users who frequently use their phone as their primary way to access the web, so it’s important to make mobile search easy and convenient no matter what device or language you use,” said Andrew McGlinchey, Product Manager, Google Southeast Asia. “Voice has always been the most natural way to interact with a phone–speaking is quicker and easier than typing on a small touchscreen or keyboard.” Voice Search demonstrates what’s possible when today’s Internet-enabled mobile phones are combined with the power of cloud computing. There’s no need for people to download specialised speech recognition software in order to use Voice Search: queries are processed in the cloud using cellular Internet connections, and not on individual devices. In addition, as more people use Voice Search, the speech recognition models get better and better, improving accuracy without requiring users to download updates or install new software. Voice Search in Bahasa Malaysia combines local expertise with Google’s global speech recognition technology. To build Voice Search, Google taught computers to understand the sounds and words that make up spoken language by working with native speakers to collect speech samples the models that power the service. For Bahasa Malaysia, Google worked with local student volunteers to collect speech samples, which were then integrated into the language models that power the service. Voice Search is available for Android 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3, for iPhone, and for BlackBerry. Users can access it via m.google.com.my/voicesearch.


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