Voice recognition instead of typing
Google Speech Recognition is tightly integrated into Android 2.1 on the Nexus One. That means you can pretty much use your voice for input in any and all fields.
The recognition itself is done in a cloud, so you will need Internet connection. We are on EDGE with AT&T in a major metropolitan area, so no access problems there.
Now, the iPhone has its own built-in voice recognition (activated by pressing and holding the home button) called Voice Control. This feature has been available since June of last year; we used it maybe once when it came out, and would guess that the majority of users had the same experience. Also, you can use Google's Mobile app on the iPhone, which has the same vox-rec technology as the Nexus One; as much as we like that app, we barely used it since you have to launch it as a separate app.
We can hate and love voice recognition tech, it's still not perfect. First of all, tight integration makes a huge difference in the use frequency, as much as quality of recognition does. QOR has to be such that you don't get annoyed by frequent incorrect interpretations, and yet it has to work with people who mumble and/or speak with accents.
In this case, we forced ourselves to use voice recognition as often as possible. Actually, it takes time to get used to speaking to the phone, rather than typing – it may take a different part of the brain, but don't quote us on that. The end result of our little test: given enough time, you will get used to talking to your phone and consciously make a decision to use voice over typing specifically when you are alone and/or driving.
We believe the combination of voice recognition integration, quality of recognition and availability of the service made that feature really work for us.
Strangely this feature is somewhat overlooked by other reviewers, but Google gets 4 out of 5 stars. We really wanted to give it that fifth star, but one little thing made us mad; you can use voice input for almost everything except email addresses in outgoing messages. This makes no sense and is one of those Android UI design issues we keep talking about.
If you do know a way to speak an email address into email using the Nexus One (or any other phone running Android 2.1), please let us know!
Yes, you can use Speech Recognition to enter email address, swipe your finger across keyboard. Same trick work in other situations, swipe keyboard instead of pressing mic button. Thanks Dorrington for the info in the comments.