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Google Now gains ability to switch between multiple languages on the fly

google_now_world_cup_v3Google Now is getting a new feature today that brings slicker multi-language support to the voice search and assistant app with the ability to switch between multiple languages on the fly. Rather than having to manually select and switch between one of the approximately 50 languages that Google Now can understand, the app will now automatically recognize the speaker’s language and allow users to switch between up to seven languages on the fly. CNET has more details on the feature after speaking with Google:

You’ll have to preselect your secondary languages, but once you do that, the feature will work. Simultaneous multiple-language support is expected to arrive in the coming days to all Google Now users.

Google researchers told CNET said that seemingly simple language-recognition tasks are much harder than they appear. Yehoshua said during a recent lunchtime conversation at Google’s Building 43 here that she’s looked into how many people are aware that they can search Google by asking their phones… “Fifty percent of smartphone and tablet users in the US are aware of voice search, and one-third of those use it,” Yehoshua said. But she added that most people don’t realize how natural conversational queries have gotten with Google Now.

Google also notes in the report that it’s working on other enhancements to Google Now and tackling some of the harder issues like understanding more complex accents and cutting out ambient noise, for example, when driving.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.