Android Search, Text-To-Speech On Android 2.0 Donut (VIDEO)


Parts of the world still have yet to get their hands on Android 1.5 Cupcake but yesterday at Google IO, attendees got a sneak peak at the version of Android after that – Android 2.0 Donut. Two of the most exciting additions will be Android Search and a Text-To-Speech API and engine.

Here is Romain Guy speaking at the Keynote Presentation, demonstrating the above features. The video is 10 minutes long but jump to about 2:30 in to find the beginning of the Android discussion:

I love this “Android Search” concept. It is essentially a universal search widget that searches all applications and shows results on an application by application basis, listing the most relevant results – based on an algo that includes habits and history – at the top. The T-Mobile G1 keyboard has a dedicated search key that I thought I would use more than I do – but Android Search is much different and much more powerful. Press your screen, start typing and touch the relevant action you’re trying to complete. Better yet is that developers are able to incorporate their applications so relevant results for their application – whether it be local restaurants or books you’ve read – become part of the results.

The Text-To-Speech API is also pretty darn amazing. The voice sounds choppy but it is clear that there is only one direction to go… UP! And two elements make me incredibly excited about Android Text-To-Speech:

  • It works with Google Translate
  • In addition to the API, the Text-To-Speech Engine is included and Open Source meaning this thing will inevitably improve over time as Android updates and grows. Open Source victory.

I’m sure there are still tons of improvements coming in Donut that are being worked on. Some we might learn about today (this video is from yesterday) and some may not even be planned yet. And thus is the beauty of Android – an ever changing platform that is constantly growing. And us – consumers, developers and enthusiasts – get to grow with it.

What do you think of the new features?

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Video not working.

  2. I love the universal search!
    Don’t really care about text to speech, but he did say “there are other features to Donut.” With his very hot accent of course.

  3. android convo starts at 3:30

  4. There is already an app that is very similar to the universal search called moov. Very cool.

  5. android is really stepping their game up

  6. This is something that won’t actually come out for a year, and that’s all they got for us? Lame. I was buying in to the opensource hype, but it’s starting to disappoint.
    The search is nice,but it’s nothing groundbreaking.
    Text-to-speech BETTER give us turn by turn navigation.
    And what about letting the average user install apps on SD? We all know internal storage is not sufficient.
    I hope they learned the lesason that if they’re gonna unveil something, it better be a lot cooler than what they’ve shown here!

  7. What I found most interesting was the handwriting recognition at the end. A very nice alternative to having to pull out the keyboard or hunt on the soft keyboard when you just need a few letters.

    And maybe, for some people, a third, and better way of inputing text than the two keyboard methods we had before (provided they integrate it with the keyboard API, which only makes sense)

  8. Anybody remember Palm’s Grafitti? I found it accurate, fast, and pretty easy after a while. I wonder if there is any chance that Android will support text entry in this manor?

    I really do think that open-source helps to spawn innovation, and I think it’s clear that Android is moving along nicely. The only worry I have is that non-google branded handsets might take too long to update the base OS.

    Even with that worry, I will probably purchase the HTC Magic next week when it becomes available in Canada. I don’t know anybody with an Android handset, so I am just trying to find out as much as I can online. Liking what I’ve seen so far!

  9. Android Search should have been there from day 1. I gotta wait another year to get it? Ugh! My Palm III did that.

  10. I really do think that open-source helps to spawn innovation, and I think it’s clear that Android is moving along nicely. The only worry I have is that non-google branded handsets might take too long to update the base OS.

  11. The HTC Hero interface I’m running on my G1 is very impressive. Too bad they don’t show the HTC dialer in the vid though. It has linked FaceBook pictures and dial-pad contact search (by name or number).

    For info on getting Hero/Donut on G1 now, goto:

  12. its good but not work properly

  13. I just down loaded the text to speech,but I am unsure how to use it.could somebody tell me what to try it on so I can see what the hub bub is all about?

  14. how do u use this tts

  15. how do i update my phone?! the thing keeps popping up to update it but when i try to, an exclaimation point keeps popping up… what do i do?

  16. How do I down load text to speech on my android phone by sprint

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