Another piece of Google’s voice search puzzle fell into place on Tuesday as the search giant announced that Android users will now be able to voice search on their smartphones by relationship terms in addition to name searches.
The update, as described by Google, will bring up any contact you’ve designated as having a particular familial connection to you in the “relationship” field in your contacts tool on Android. This additional functionality is meant to allow a user to now speak a phrase such as “call mom,” or “text sister” to initiate those actions without the user needing to say the person’s name as it’s listed in their contacts.
In order to launch contacts on your Android handset via voice you first need to allow the Google search app to access your contacts and the profile information attached to each person or place.
However, during repeated testing of the update on a Moto G handset running Android 4.4.2, we were unable to get the relationship voice function to work automatically, despite a number of attempts using various listing configurations. Rather than simply recognizing the relationship assigned to the contact in the People contacts app, Google still asked “who is your brother?” prompting us to pick a contact to assign the designation of “brother.”
Despite that, the system’s “name” search by voice worked perfectly, which indicates that the update, which is being rolled out on Google’s side, may be reaching some users sooner than others.