Google's Apps Have A New Aussie Voice

Not only will the accent be familiar, but the Google app's new voice has place-name pronunciation for Google Maps and local colloquialisms for reminders down pat. It will even reveal the mysterious history of the drop bear.

But how good is the new voice at place names? Watch for yourself:

As well as making Aussies easier to understand, Google says there are other, more subtle benefits -- that ultimately lead to the voice feature being used more often.

"Australians are more relaxed when they hear a familiar voice," said a spokesperson for Google, "Users are now 30 times more likely to use voice rather than typing requests."

Google says mobile voice searches have more than doubled in the past year, and mobile search traffic has surpassed desktop -- this is based on global figures.

Here's some local terms you can now use:

  • OK Google, take me to the nearest Maccas
  • OK Google, send a message to Darren, are we on for footy this arvo?
  • OK Google, where is the closest servo?
  • OK Google, remind me to buy milk next time I’m at Woolies
  • OK Google, what’s the temperature like in Brissy?
  • OK Google, show me pictures of quokka selfies
  • OK Google, what does the sheep say?
  • OK Google, what is the most livable city?
  • OK Google, what is a drop bear?

  • You can also use a string of questions, like this borderline-stalkerish conversation that has been used as an example:

    Give it a try, and tell us what you discover!

    WATCH MORE: Tech News


    Please tell me they haven't ruined the mystery of the drop bear!

    I'm glad it specifies esky ice. I hate it when I grab regular ice and it doesn't work in the esky

    I noticed this change while I was driving out to Tullamarine the other day. I started my journey with the American voice, and then by the end I had the Aussie one. At first I thought I'd misheard it - like the American one just said something weird.

    Glad they've finally given us our own accented voice, but I would have still preferred the option of using a different TTS engine like SVOX instead. The ability to manually correct pronunciations with SVOX is great.

    Back when the Galaxy S3 was first out, I had an Aussie accent for apps using Google's Text To Speech - around that time is when Apple went crazy and started suing companies left right and centre, and some few months later it all changed to a very robotic Murican accent and been that way ever since till just the other day. I do believe the voice talent behind Google's aussie english is the same lady behind Siri, who also is the voice for many standard in car navigation systems/maps in Australia. I did read that because of this, and the supposed "uniqueness" of siri, that Apple was somehow granted a block of the voice due to it already being the main feature of siri, but couldn't get that same result with other navigation platforms. Don't know how true this was but the voice does sound the same. I'm just glad the Aussie lady is back! Now Google, i just want a Paul Bettany/JARVIS voice and I'll be 200% happy!

    If it doesn't call you a "cunt" then it isn't an aussie.

      No, that just means it isn't a bogan.

        Cultured people like Ogre prefer to call people "vagina", much more Toorak or Point Piper.

    How do you enable this? Under settings -> accessibility in my LG G4 it tells my system language of English (Australia) isn't supported.

      I think it's easiest to download the Google now app which gives your phone the same look as pure Android with the Google search bar at the top. From there you set it up so that when you say "OK Google" it then listens to your question. It's a lot more powerful than its Apple equivalent. The Nexus phones can be set to operate Google voice search when locked in the Google now settings, not sure if the G4 can.

      Last edited 28/01/16 5:31 pm

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