The search giant appears to be conditioning searchers to use voice across all platforms.
Google has added a microphone to the Google.com search field on Android phones to enable mobile web voice search. It’s an interesting move given that users could already do voice search on the mobile web, with the Android keyboard microphone.
A new mic icon. Below are screens from Android on the left and the iPhone on the right, showing Google.com search results. The iPhone doesn’t show the mic, although the keyboard allows voice input. The search phrase is “what percentage of mobile queries are voice searches?”
Beyond the microphone icon inside the search box, the major difference — a significant one — is that users will hear a spoken response now with Android mobile web searches rather than simply get a set of “silent” results. This voice response may encourage people to undertake more searches while their eyes are occupied, such as when they are cooking or driving.
This may or may not technically be the Google Assistant in action. But for all practical purposes that’s how it appears. – Read more