Dolphin Sonar: speak and you shall find?

Aaron Tan
Dolphin Sonar: speak and you shall find?

Voice recognition is all the rage right now with a growing number of apps that let you search for restaurants and translate languages by speaking into your smartphone.

Dolphin HD is the latest app to incorporate the technology in a new release of the mobile browser for Android devices.

Dubbed Dolphin Sonar, the voice recognition technology allows you to speak to search the web and navigate the browser without typing a word. The feature can be activated by tapping the microphone icon at the bottom of the screen or shaking the phone.

“Our gesture-based browsing function was a game-changer in terms of the way people browse on their mobile devices, and Sonar is the logical next step,” said Yang Yongzhi, CEO of MoboTap, the company behind Dolphin HD.

“Just as sonar is used by dolphins to navigate, Dolphin Sonar interprets sound to get you where you want to be online. We are continuously thinking of new ways to heighten our users’ mobile browsing experience with new and innovative features,” Yang added.

So how does Dolphin Sonar fare in real world tests? Well, first you would need to speak in an American accent for the app to recognise your search commands. Otherwise, you might end up with search results that are a long way off.

You can also check out the Facebook pages of people by saying “Facebook Mark Zuckerberg” for instance, though this didn’t really work all the time. In most cases, I landed on my own mobile Facebook page.

Navigating the browser works better. Saying “new tab” or “open new tab” will launch a new tab in the browser as promised. Commands like “top of page” and “bottom of page” worked like a charm, too.

Dolphin Browser, which launched on the Android Market in 2010 and was available for iOS devices last summer, has been downloaded over 12 million times across both platforms.

The browser is highly regarded for its signature gesture and add-on features. Earlier in January, MoboTap released the  Evernote and Skitch add-ons  to make it easier to save web content on a smartphone.

The latest Dolphin HD update also includes moving the Webzine feature from the browser to Dolphin’s add-ons, as well as faster browsing speeds.