Last week, Google opened up its speech recognition API to third-party developers, and is attracting them by making it  free at launch with pricing to be introduced at a later date.

The company announced the service during its NEXT cloud user conference, where it also unveiled a raft of other machine learning developments and updates, most significantly a new-machine learning platform.

The Google Cloud Speech API cover over 80 languages and can work with any application in real-time streaming or batch mode. It will offer full set of APIs for applications to “see, hear and translate,” Google says.

It is based on the same neural network tech that powers Google’s voice search in the Google app and voice typing in Google’s Keyboard.

Previously Google has offered limited access to its voice technology in its products. The introduction of the speech API won’t only impact Nuance and other speech recognition providers, but is also being seen as an attack on Apple, whose virtual assistant Siri’s voice recognition capabilities pale in comparison to Google’s.