Google has introduced voice typing and input for Google Docs on Chrome browsers. Users can either use their machine’s inbuilt mic or connect an external mic to dictate to Google Docs. The feature can be accessed by clicking on Tools–>Voice Typing, through which a mic icon will appear on the page.
This feature is available in 40 languages including Arabic, German, Spanish, Farsi, French, Icelandic, Polish, Russian and Chinese, while Hindi is currently the only Indian language it is available in. It also takes inputs like “comma”, “period”, “new line” and “new paragraph”, but in our test, it continued typing what was being said literally. For now punctuation is available on these languages: German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Russian.
An add on for Chrome is available for this as well. Google has also added a Templates feature as well as a ‘see new changes’ feature where users can see changes made by multiple users working on the same document. Mistakes on the doc can be fixed by moving the cursor to the mistake and fixing it without turning the mic off and then be placed where the user wants to start dictating again. Right clicking will allow users to see suggestions for mistakes. Interestingly, according to a Search Engine Roundtable report, Google Docs had gotten voice dictation in March 2014.
On Google Docs for Android, users can also check out the Research feature which uses Google search to look up info. Google says on its Support doc that while voice typing is only for computers at the moment, Android and iOS users can use their built in mics (the mic icon on the keyboard) to voice type on a Docs document.
Translate app provides visual translations
In June, Google updated its Google Translate app to give users visual translations for 27 languages. Google claimed that the updated app made real time voice translations faster and smoother. Google began visual translations in January this year with seven languages– English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Way back in 2009, Google Docs started offering translation of documents in 42 different languages. It may seem unbelievable, but Google Drive was launched just 3 years ago. In 2013, Google introduced Hindi handwriting support for Gmail and Google Drive, allowing users to write their emails and documents in Hindi.
Competition and adoption rates
In the third quarter of last year, Office 365 Home had 4.4 million subscribers. A Computer World report from last month states that nearly 48% of enterprises use cloud based productivity and email suites. Out of this, from 2014 Google Apps showed a 200% increase from 5% to 15%, while Office 365, Microsoft’s online Office suite, observed a 500% increase from 5% to 30%.
Our Google coverage here.