8/13/2010

Google adds voice commands for Android phones

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Just because mobile phones are becoming more like small computers doesn’t mean you should have to do a lot of typing on them.

That’s the thinking behind the latest update to Google Inc.’s popular Android software for mobile phones.

The latest version of Android 2.2, released Thursday, includes 10 new voice commands that can be used to operate phones without using a keypad.

Although Google says about 200,000 Android-powered phones are being sold each day, not all of them are equipped with the 2.2 operating system, also known as Froyo. Google’s Nexus One phone already runs on Froyo, but users will need to download free updates through its Android Market. Motorola Inc.’s Droid 2, which went on sale this week, already has the necessary updates. The features are expected to be added to HTC Corp.’s Evo and Incredible phones when they get Froyo in the coming months.

Google’s new “Voice Actions” tool” enables people to dictate their text messages and e-mails. The voice recognition technology automatically translates the spoken words into text.

Phone calls can be made simply by speaking the name of a person or business. The feature can also find and play songs with spoken commands.

Oracle sues Google for patent infringement

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Oracle Corp. said Thursday it has filed a patent and copyright-infringement lawsuit against Google Inc.

Oracle said in a statement that Google’s Android system for mobile phones infringes on its patented Java technology.

Google spokesman Andrew Pederson said the company can’t comment because it has not yet reviewed the lawsuit.

In its complaint Oracle said Google’s Android operating system software consists of Java applications and other technology. As such, it infringes on one or more parts of seven different patents - something Google should know, Oracle argues, because it has hired former Sun Java engineers in recent years.

Oracle is seeking an injunction to stop Google from further building and distributing Android, plus higher monetary damages for willful and deliberate infringement.

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