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For Google, the Cloud Is Its Mobile Future

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If there was any doubt that mobile and the cloud will eventually converge, Google (s GOOG) is putting it to rest. At an event in San Francisco today, the company showed off two applications that leverage Google’s back-end infrastructure and its Android OS to bring a powerful new mobile user experience. The two apps are Voice Actions and Chrome2Phone.

Chrome2Phone is an application that allows you to sync content (clips and videos, for example) between your desktop browser and your mobile device, much like Mozilla’s Home application allows you to take your Firefox browsing history and bookmarks on an iPhone (s AAPL).

Voice Search for Android is an app that is Google’s answer to Siri, an artificial intelligence application maker that was acquired by Apple for a reported $200 million. It’s a voice-to-mobile interface that allows you do perform about 12 actions including search, text messaging, looking up music online and playing it back using your favorite service, writing emails, looking up locations, and placing calls to those locations.

Hugo Barra, Google director of product management, said at the event that nearly 25 percent of folks who use Android 2.0 (and higher) use voice search. “It is much higher than we expected and it is pretty astounding,” he said. In addition to voice search, Google is adding voice capabilities to the Android Keyboard.

According to Google executives, Google voice search has about 70 percent accuracy. They said it is much easier to offer instructions than to transcribe voice mails in Google Voice (which can at times be comically inaccurate).

Google’s Voice Actions (which is for Android 2.2 only) joins a series of cloud-based mobile applications launched by the search company. Others include Google Navigation and Goggles. Barra explained that when you add 4G speeds to a 10,000-server data cluster, what you end up with is a mini-computer in your pocket.

From GigaOM PRO: How speech technologies will transform mobile use

Barra said that sub-second latency on the mobile brings a whole new responsiveness, and with it, a massive discontinuity. “It will change the way we write mobile software. Near-infinite mobile (computing) capability wasn’t possible a few years ago,” he said. “Computing happens in the cloud and the data comes back to the device.”

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

How Speech Technologies Will Transform Mobile Use

25 Responses to “For Google, the Cloud Is Its Mobile Future”

  1. “If there was any doubt that mobile and the cloud will eventually converge, Google is putting it to rest.”

    Google isnt the first one to do it. Apple has benn doing it with its .Mac service. Nokia has a fine service in Ovi. there have been other services like,, etc which let you sync your mobile with the cloud.

    actually mobile+cloud : didnt iPhone kind of popularise that?

    by the way, who is going to be the first service to make money selling Android Anti Virus software?

    synccing bookmarks, contacts, map data, etc all have been possible in various ways. its just that Google has a louder voice in the world of PR and media space.

  2. D’OH!

    Unless Google ceased to by a Marketing firm overnight, there isn’t anything new here. Google strategy has always been to profit from the info it obtains from its “free” Internet based services and applications. For Google, the “Cloud” has always been its present and future, no “mobile” qualifier needed.

  3. chitra.s

    Om – it will be good if you take your iPhone fixation while discussing Android – Google’s voice capabilities are miles ahead of Siri! By the way we await the Gigaom Android app that you promised weeks back while you launched the GigaOm iPhone app.

  4. As is pointed in the article, this is Google’s answer to Siri. ( They both rely on the cloud while limiting the number/types of actions that are possible to make the magic possible. It will be interesting to see how Apple repackages Siri into something that is native in the iOS devices.