Users [...] can place the phone to their ear and ask virtually any question, like Wheres the nearest Starbucks? or How tall is Mount Everest? The sound is converted to a digital file and sent to Googles servers, which try to determine the words spoken and pass them along to the Google search engine.
The application uses the iPhone's on-board sensors to detect when the phone has been raised to the user's ear so it can go into "listen" mode.
The free application is making its first appearance on the iPhone, though versions for other phones are said to be in the pipeline.