Teens Use Voice Search Most, Even in Bathroom, Google's Mobile Voice Study Finds

Study of 1400 smartphone users reveals American teens embracing hands-free search -- 45% wish they could use voice search to have pizza delivered

Oct 14, 2014, 06:00 ET from Google Inc.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Oct. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG, GOOGL) today released the results of the Mobile Voice Study, a look at voice search habits among American smartphone users across different age ranges. Among teens 13-18, 55% use voice search every day, 56% of adults said it makes them "feel tech savvy," and both age groups are talking to their phones while watching TV (38%) — and wish voice search could help them find the remote control (41%).

"Voice search is a key feature of the Google app that's becoming ever more important as people spend more time on their mobile phones," said Scott Huffman, Google's Vice President for Conversational Search. "We wanted to learn more about how people of all ages use Google hands-free on their phones. We found that for teens, voice search comes as naturally as checking social media and they're getting very creative about how (and where) they use it. The study gives us great ideas about new ways we could help people — maybe even help them find their keys and other elusive objects."

The Mobile Voice Study asked participants to articulate their opinions about voice search (the most popular examples of which are Google, Siri and Cortana), and to explain how, where and why they use the mobile feature. Respondents prioritize voice search for activities that require safety and efficiency. For example:

  • 40% use voice search to ask for directions.
  • 39% use the feature to dictate a text message.
  • 32% do so to make a phone call.
  • 23% of adult Americans use voice search "when I'm cooking."
  • 51% of teens (and 32% of adults) use voice search "just for fun."
  • 27% use voice search to check the weather.

Teens Most Active Users of Hands-Free Search (Even in the Bathroom)

The majority of U.S. teens (55%) use hands-free search every day, and that figure rises to 75% among teens who are wedded to their smartphones (using it 11+ hours per day).  While hands-free search is growing more common across all age groups, some self-consciousness remains: 45% of adult Americans admit to "feeling like a geek" when they talk to their smartphone. Despite this, all age groups agree that voice search will be "very common" in the future (89% of teens and 85% of adults agree).

76% of all Americans think voice search is great for multitasking. 59% of teens and 36% of adults use the their phone's voice search while watching TV and 22% of teens claim to use it "when I'm in the bathroom". Overall, two-thirds (64%) think voice search is cool and nearly as many (58%) say they feel tech savvy.

U.S. Teens: I Want My Phone to Send Me Pizza

When asked to "pick one thing you wish you could ask your phone to do for you," 45% of American teens selected "send me a pizza." More pragmatic adults wished they could ask their phone to "tell me where my keys are," though "send me a pizza" was also popular among 36% of adults. A nearly equal number of teens and adults (34% and 33%, respectively) want their smartphones to one day tell them where to find their TV's remote control. With Oct. 31 just a few weeks away, 16% of teens wish their phone could tell them what costume to wear on Halloween.

New Yorkers embrace voice search most; multi-taskers talk to phones while cooking

Google's Mobile Voice Study also found that:

  • Among Americans of all ages, Northeasterners are the nation's most active voice searchers, with 50% using it at least once per day.
  • New Yorkers are the likeliest Americans to use voice search to ask about the weather (43% do so).
  • Northeasterners (28%) and Westerners (26%) are the likeliest to use voice search while cooking.
    • New Yorkers (35%) also lead the nation in this regard.

The study was commissioned by Google and executed by Northstar Research, a global consulting firm. It examined the smartphone voice search habits of 1,400 Americans, 13 years of age and older (400 ages 13-17 and 1,000 adults ages 18+).

About the Google App

The Google app is available on iOS and Android devices and is the best way to access Google for helpful assistance throughout your day. With it, you can talk to Google to find local information, take actions (like send text messages or set reminders), fetch your stuff (like flight or package details) and get the right information when you need it.

Some of the Google app's newest features include:

  • Restaurant reservation in one easy step by voice
  • When trip planning, ask for restaurants or bars near your hotel
  • Alternate flight suggestions when your flight is cancelled or delayed

Learn more about the free Google app at http://www.google.com/search/about/trytheapp/

About Northstar

NORTHSTAR is a strategic marketing insights and consulting firm that aligns leading edge, customized research techniques and cultural context with proprietary and proven strategic marketing frameworks and models to drive insights to impact. Northstar's suite of services relate to the most critical elements of brand, customer and marketing strategy, with sector expertise in travel and tourism, retail, automotive, CPG, food & beverage, financial services, pharma / health care, transportation and fashion / luxury. For more information, please go to www.northstarhub.com.

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SOURCE Google Inc.