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Google Now Offers Image And Voice Search

Google has rolled out a host of new search features aimed at offering its users greater flexibility to find the information they are seeking.

The new features include the ability to search by images, a mobile tool to search by local categories such as restaurants and movie theaters and a robust voice search, Google announced on it blog (opens in new tab).

A user can now directly express their search query by clicking on the sleek microphone icon which appears on the right side of their screen. The English Voice System from Google apparently has a database of 230 billion words and it is designed to understand phrases that users are most likely to say.

To search for an image a user can drag an image into the search box or can choose to insert an image URL.

However, many of these features are currently only available on Google Chrome and it may be some time before the company supports such features on other web browsers.

While Google still maintains a commanding position in the search engine market, its latest initiative gives an indication of the importance it places on staying ahead of competition. The company derives the bulk of its revenues from online advertising whose competitive advantage rests upon its search engine's popularity.