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Google voice still not on iPhone

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Google's mobile application for the iPhone, which allows punters to talk to the search giant, didn’t appear on the Application Store on Friday as even the world's most successful internet company has to wait on the whim of Apple.

The Google Mobile App is an iPhone application which allows users to speak queries to automatically launch a search. It should have gone live as a free download from the Application Store on Friday, but according to Tech Crunch the search engine was still waiting to hear if the app would be approved by the boys in Cupertino, despite a New York Times story, and a video demonstrating the application:

Google Mobile App performs searches based on spoken requests and location information, and it has the iPhone crowd in quite a tizzy. In reality such capabilities have been around for quite a while, though Google will probably implement it well once it becomes available - hopefully later today.

The real problems with voice-driven searching are the necessity to manually trigger the application first, so it knows to listen, and the fact that the results have to be read from a screen anyway so the advantage isn't as great as it appears. Google overcomes part of this problem by using the motion sensor in the iPhone to detect when to listen, though users still have to manually run the application first as the iPhone won't support background tasks.

It's also worth noting that Google Mobile App also links to all other Google applications - GMail, Google News, Maps etc. Bundling all these together will enable them to share data, as the OS will consider the whole thing to be a single application. This gets round one of the most significant problems of developers working on iPhone applications and goes some way to explain why Google didn't launch this for the Android platform first - it could even enable that holy grail of iPhone utility, cut and paste, to work between Google applications, though perhaps that's what's causing the delay. ®

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