Three different sources who are familiar with the situation revealed to Gotta Be Mobile that LG will be launching a new Android smartphone with always-on voice commands in 2014. However, unlike the voice commands employed by digital assistant services like Apple’s Siri or the Google Now search, LG will be implementing voice command more broadly for navigation functionality.
Our sources say that this would be beneficial in certain settings or environments, in particular inside automobiles. With hands-free laws gaining momentum, using voice command would allow users to more safely operate their smartphones for key functions without requiring them to touch the screen un-necessarily.
In one example, users can speak a voice command to tell Google Maps to pan around and switch views. Users can also tell Google Maps to zoom in or out. This is different from existing voice solutions, which are based mainly for searching, launching apps, and dictating. The navigation of the Android OS by voice will be a new user experience for some people.
This matches with what we’ve been hearing about the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, which will have always-on voice capabilities. Originally, we had thought that the feature would be limited to select voice commands, like Google Now, but it seems that LG is tapping into the hardware feature to make its phones more adaptive.
At this point though, it’s still unclear when LG intends to launch this phone. The Snapdragon 800 CPU should become available in phones later this year, meaning the hardware will be capable of handling LG’s new voice-based user experience so it’s up to the Korean smartphone-maker to deliver the software.
The LG Optimus G2, a sequel to the company’s current LG Optimus G flagship smartphone, is rumored to be among one of LG’s earliest phones to use a Snapdragon 800 chipset though that remains unconfirmed.