Mar 1st, 2012

Android devices are smart and powerful, but we still haven’t seen voice commands reaching their fullest potential. Dolphin has taken such functionality to the next level with its latest update. This iteration of the popular third-party browser includes a feature called Sonar, which allows you to browse the web via voice commands.

After installing the update, a new button will appear in the bottom-left corner of the screen. Pressing and holding it opens a portal that allows you to use Dolphin’s drawing navigation gestures, as well Sonar.

What is enticing about this service is its ability to interpret more than just simple commands. One can do Ebay and Facebook searches with a single voice command. For example: “Facebook name” would send you straight to a friend’s profile.

As it goes with any new service, though, there are a few downfalls. The first being that not too many websites support such specified commands. According to Ryan Krems, the team was focusing on getting everything working properly before implementing all the specified commands.

Another issue that some users might find is the fact that this service requires an internet connection to work. But it is not like you will ever be browsing the web without internet. Sonar uses Google’s Voice Actions API to convert voice into text, which Dolphin’s server then puts into action.

That is not the main concern, though. The issue people may find with this is that it could make the service a bit slower, depending on your data speeds. And of course, those precious megabytes will be eaten off your tiered data plans.

Regardless, it looks like a great beginning for a fuller-integrated voice-operated ecosystem. We will only have to wait and see how it plays out for you, the consumer. Would any of you want to order your browser around? Maybe while driving, for a bit of a safer trip?