Companies create mobile apps to improve the experiences of users who interact with their brand. Besides branding, a mobile app helps to increase sales, take in feedback, and increase the quantity and quality of interactions with customers. The average American spends almost 4 hours on their phone every day. This explains why many businesses now have their own mobile apps. However, the way people are interacting with their phones is changing as voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant become ubiquitous in daily life. Companies now must consider integrating voice into their mobile apps.
Staying Ahead of Competition
Only a small number of companies have apps with voice-enabled features. This is a chance to get ahead of competition by enabling voice commands on your mobile app and using it as a key selling point for your application.
A major advantage now is that your company does not have to build the speech recognition algorithm itself. Instead, your developer will help pick the right solution to integrate into your app. This saves time and cost. You also will not have to think about improving upon the algorithm as time goes by. Giants such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have libraries from which developers can obtain tools and resources to enable speech recognition on your app.
Integrating voice into the app involves two technologies- Text to Speech Synthesizer and Speech Recognition Technology. The former reads text to the app user, while the latter receives voice commands from the app user. The strength of voice recognition is dependent on the ability to hop over challenges such as accents, stammering, and syntax errors in speech.
One model for integration is that speech recognition takes place in the cloud. It’s accurate and the app on the device is much lighter. However, it is dependent on the user’s internet connection quality. The second model is embedding the technology locally on the app. The risk is that the app will be bulky and potentially slow. Most developers prefer going with the first option.
The Advantage for Users
Voice search on your app saves users the time it would otherwise take to browse through the app to find a specific function or piece of information. 10% of Americans use voice search. The number is likely to increase as the accuracy of voice search technology improves. In addition, voice recognition technologies are multilingual. Google Assistant now understands 30 languages. Using multilingual voice technology on your app widens the number of users who can interact with the app.
The benefits of interacting with a device hands-free are perhaps not appreciated enough. Integration of voice into more apps in the future will make people less dependent on screens. It is likely to change how designers think about UX. Screens are sometimes seen as distractions during productivity hours. However, if your users can still interact with the app without touching their phone, it’s likely to have significant effects on revenue.
What Voice Means for Your Business
For your business, enabling voice on the app gives your business to gain insights on user needs. What are they searching for the most, how many times in a day or week, and what time of day? Users gain from accessing their needs faster while the business can constantly improve the app.