Google prepping their own Android version of Siri

Android has had the ability to respond to voice commands for more than a year at this point. That service allows users to do things like send text messages, navigate to a location via GPS, create memos, send emails, and make phone calls. The catch was that you needed to learn a set of commands that the system would respond to. Now it seems that Google is looking to iterate on Voice Actions in response to Apple’s Siri.

Google prepping their own Android version of Siri

The next evolution of Google’s Voice Actions is being rumored to include support for natural language, which would remove the need to learn pre set commands that your phone would respond to. Essentially this makes the tool act just like Apple’s digital assistant, Siri.

Google’s version of Siri is being rumored to be code named Majel. That name comes from Majel Barnett-Roddenberry, i.e. the voice of the Federation Computer from Star Trek. Google search queries are rumored to be included in the first release of the tool. Android and Me speculates that the update could come as early as the end of this year, although a January or February 2012 release is more likely.

Back in October Google’s Matias Duarte hinted at Majel during an interview with Slashgear. Duarte said, “Our approach is more like Star Trek, right, starship Enterprise; every piece of computing surface, everything is voice-aware. It’s not that there’s a personality, it doesn’t have a name, it’s just Computer.”

I would definitely be interested in an update to Voice Actions that provided more functionality and less pre canned commands. I’m not particularly jealous of iPhone owners who have Siri, but some natural language support would go a long way to making Voice Actions a little more user friendly.

Do you use any sort of voice commands on your phone? Do you care if natural language is supported over pre-canned commands? Let us know what you think in the comments.