Google's Voice Search decision is disappointing

Google Voice Search

Google's Voice Search is undoubtedly one of the most attention-grabbing additions in the company's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean release. And now, the feature is coming to even more mobile users.

Don't get too excited, though: If you use an Android device, you aren't among the chosen ones. 

In a bitter twist of irony, Google announced today that it was bringing Voice Search to iOS users as a standalone application. The app is expected to land in the App Store in the next few days. According to SearchEngineLand, Google "hopes to roll out updates" that'll bring the feature to Android users with pre-4.1 devices sometime in the future, too, but it has no firm estimate yet as to when that might happen.

Look, let's be realistic: I certainly get Google's motiviation for bringing its Voice Search to iOS. Google is a search company first and foremost, and it makes the bulk of its money from its search business. So of course it wants to do anything it can to encourage as many users as possible to use Google search as much as possible.

Still, it's disappointing that Google wasn't able to prioritize broader Android availability of Voice Search and make that happen, too -- if not first then at least at the same time. Getting Voice Search on multiple platforms obviously makes sense from a business perspective. But making users of your own platform feel like second-class citizens doesn't make much sense to me, no matter how you look at it. Especially not when when we're talking about such a high-profile feature. 

I suspect a lot of people are going to be pretty irked by this, and I can't say I blame 'em.

(Footnote: Voice Search is not the same thing as Google Now, which revolves around providing you with relevant info before you ask for it. Google Now is thus far available only on Android 4.1.)

NEXT: The million-dollar question about Google's Voice Search move

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