‘Ok Google, what is the Granary Squirt?’
A few heads bopped up hearing my ringing clear voice as they passed by me in Granary Square just a few minutes walk from Kings Cross in London. Some sniggered. Some looked alarmed. Yet the fellow journalists and bloggers around me remained concentrated staring blankly in the distance as they listened in rapt attention to the phones they held out in front of them.
I was here for a Google Promotion and that is the Google Voice Search enabling travellers and backpackers to become eyes free on their trips.
Why eyes free?
Well, don;t you just hate it when you’re trying to find out information or figuring out where to go while your eyes are peeled on your phone screen in front of you. Ypou’re missing out on all the sights, activities and events happening around you. You know what? You need to be eyes free to see all this.
So enter: Google Voice Search.
Google Voice Search is part of the Google App, and it is becoming increasingly popular for people to find what they need via voice activated search functions.
Well, it was completely new to me!
I had experienced Siri on my Apple iPhone before and there was many a time I lost my temper with her as I couldn’t get what I wanted.
So, you’d be right to think that I would be suspect of Google Voice Search. Would it actually understand what I wanted let alone comprehending my slight deaf voice.
Google Vice Search would be put to the test as fellow bloggers gathered at the exclusive Vinoteca Bar just yards from King’s Cross station. I waved hello to Simon’s JamJar and the Travelista as we waited for Macca of A Brit and A Broad, a leading influencer in travel, to lead us on how to use the Google Voice Search on our trip around Kings Cross.
Soon, my suspicion was mollified as Google Voice Search has proven they have a 92% accuracy rate as voice activated searches have doubled in the past year.
Could this be true?
So all you have to do is open the Google App; and to simply activate the Voice Search, you just say this to your phone:
Simples. It’s waiting for your voice command.
So, as we walked around Kings Cross in the pouring rain, (Thanks Google, for your massive umbrellas!), we could find out suggestions on where to eat, directions to a particular place, the history of a landmark, and ultimately what the Granary Squirt is.
All you simply have to do is say:
What I thought a gimmick at first, I soon grew to love. It was a revelation! I started going off on a tangent, away from the questions Google provided for us.
‘Ok Google! Who is the best travel blogger in the UK?’
It told me Vicky Flip Flops.
But soon, I was enamoured by the freedom that came with the Voice Search. I didn’t have to type on my phone while I was on the move. I didn’t have to keep a wonky eye out for that ill-placed bollard or to avoid a rushing foul-mouthed Londoner screaming at me to get out of the way to get that tube train. I didn’t have to juggle my phone with my umbrella, bag or even the beauties that held on to my arm.
It was all Eyes Free.
But then again, as a deaf travel blogger, how would I be able to understand the tinny and sexy masculine voice that purred at me? Especially when I’m outside in central London with the hubbub of background sounds from traffic and the constant repetitions asking me if I want the latest free Metro newspaper?
It was a little hard, I do have to say, as I constantly had to ask to repeat it. However, I soon got around that obstacle by slipping on my T-Coil headphones which fed the voice over a radio frequency to my hearing aids. It worked loud and clear!
Google Voice Search was becoming increasingly popular to me now!
So over the last two years, Google has seen an 18% point increase in voice activated searches, which included jargon and slang. It has evolved to understand conversational search, rather than just keywords, so really, you could date this app. (I did NOT take it on a romantic boat ride in Benidorm last weekend…maybe).
After walking through Kings Cross, I was intrigued to see if Google Voice Search would help me in my everyday life let alone my travel blogging lifestyle. It absolutely helped. It did translation for me when I was in Spain, it helped me navigate to Tower Hill from Old Street in London and even helped calculate a tip for me at a restaurant in Tooting so the waitress could let me go.
The Google Voice Search really helped to improve my day to day life. It’s that good! You should definitely try it out. Why not download the Google App here?
But first, I bet you’ve still got that unanswered question:
‘What is the Granary Squirt?’
Would you believe me if I said it involved snakes, 70s arcade games and fountains?
You don’t know?
Well, you know what to do. I’m sure Google Voice Search will help you out:
OK Google, now you’re talking…