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9. Designing Accessible Applications > Leveraging Speech Recognition Services

Leveraging Speech Recognition Services

Speech services are available in the Android SDK in the android.speech package. The underlying services that make these technologies work might vary from device to device; some services might require a network connection to function properly.

Let’s begin with speech recognition. You can enhance an application with speech recognition support by using the speech recognition framework provided in the Android SDK. Speech recognition involves speaking into the device microphone and enabling the software to detect and interpret that speech and translate it into a string.

There are several different methods of leveraging speech recognition in your application. First, the default Android keyboard (available in API Level 7+, as shown in Figure 9.1) and many third-party input methods have a microphone that can be used by users whenever they are presented with an input opportunity, such as on an EditText field. Second, applications can start a built-in speech recognition activity that will return text results (API Level 3+). Finally, applications can directly leverage the SpeechRecognizer class (API Level 8+) to more closely control the recognition and results.


  

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