Android gets voice-activated camera functionality, smarter keyboard


One great thing about being an Android user is that Google adds some new features to its stock apps every few weeks. The most recent trick added to the Google Search app is the ability to launch the camera app in either video or still image mode using only your voice.

All you have to do is tap the Google search microphone, or say "OK Google" if you have the new Google Now launcher, and then say either "take a picture" or "record a video."

A few seconds later (depending on the speed of your device), the camera app will launch in whichever mode you specified. As you can see in the image above, variants such as "take a photo" and "take a video" will also work.

It's a neat trick, but depending on the responsiveness of your device there are probably faster ways to snap a pic or video. Since many Android devices also let you access the camera from the lock screen, this new voice feature only makes sense if your phone is already open.

Nevertheless, it's always nice to see new functionality come to Google's voice commands for Android devices. This functionality is clearly a carry over from Google Glass where users are able to snap a pic with their geek specs using similar voice commands.

Keyboards get personal

Another tweak from Google recently landed on the stock Android keyboard. Google Keyboard now offers "Personalized Suggestions," according to Droid Life, which first spotted the update.

Basically, this new feature is yet another result of Google melding all your various Google apps and services under one account. With Personalized Suggestions turned on, the keyboard will use data from Google's apps and services to make typing suggestions and corrections specifically targeted for you.

Any suggestions are stored only on your device and you can also turn off Personalized Suggestions through the keyboard's settings.

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