Google updates Chrome for iOS with conversational voice search, improved voice recognition & performance enhancements

Chrome for iOS - Voice-SearchAs expected, Google updated its Chrome for iOS app to version 27 today after releasing updates for both desktop and Android late last month. The update includes a number of new improvements, the most notable of which is voice search that allows users to take advantage of the conversational voice search features Google already rolled out to Mac. Google previously announced the feature (pictured above), would be arriving on iOS, but today the updated app is officially available to all on the App Store.

With today’s update you will not only be able to search with your voice right within Chrome (a feature already available to users through the Google Search iOS app), you’ll also get “answers spoken back to you” for specific search results. Google first showed off the new conversational search features at its I/O event last month.

Other improvements in today’s update include faster voice recognition “with text streamed on the fly,” faster page reloads even on slow networks, and the usual stability and security enhancements. Read more

Google begins rolling out revamped conversational Voice Search features in Chrome

During its Google I/O keynote earlier this month, Google announced that it would be bringing conversational, Google-Now like voice search to the desktop. Using a UI similar to voice search and Google Now in its mobile apps, Google would soon allow Chrome users to search and drill down further into results using only their voice.

Today, Google appears to have finally started rolling out the feature for Chrome users on the stable and beta channels of Chrome.

After updating to the latest version 27.0.1453.93 of Chrome, users can navigate to Google.com, click the microphone icon, and choose to allow the new Google Voice search feature to begin listening. Google will only ask for permission to listen once and from then on users can simply speak in order to search. For certain search results such as questions Google will also provide audible results.

Not all of the functionality seems to be available as of yet. For example, when Google first showed off the feature users weren’t required to click at all. Google execs were activating the feature by simply saying “Ok, Google” and were able to continue searching with their voice, hands-free, from on the search results page. The feature as it’s currently implemented now requires users to click the mic icon in order to start a voice search. Read more

Google beats Siri to the Desktop with Google Now-like voice search for Chrome

Google today announced that it is revamping the Google voice search feature available in Chrome on the desktop. While users have always been able to search with their voice through Chrome, Google is attempting to make the service work more like it does through Google Search apps and Google Now on mobile devices.

Chrome will now include “conversational search” with a brand new interface that doesn’t require users to click in order to search with their voice. Like on mobile devices with Google Now, users will now be able to simple say “Google” in order to activate voice search.

Today, we previewed what this conversational experience will look like in Chrome on your desktops and laptops. Soon, you’ll be able to just say, hands-free, “OK Google, will it be sunny in Santa Cruz this weekend?” and get a spoken answer. Then, you’ll be able to continue the conversation and just follow up with “how far is it from here?” if you care about the drive or “how about Monterey?” if you want to check weather somewhere else, and get Google to tell you the answer.

The new interface, as pictured above from Google’s demo of the feature, is much like the voice search interface for Google Now on Android devices.

The new feature will be coming to Macs and PCs through Chrome soon.

Google also briefly showed off some new content coming to Google Now including new cards for Reminders, Music Albums, TV Shows, Books, Public Transit, and Video games rolling out today:
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Google announces Google Play game services coming to Android, iOS & web today

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 12.21.22 PM

From 9to5Google:

We knew from leaks in the weeks leading up to I/O that Google was planning some gaming related announcements and today the company has officially announced the service in a press release ahead of its Google I/O keynote taking place now. Not only will the service allow Android developers to build in real-time multiplayer, social features, achievements, and leaderboards while storing game saves and settings in the cloud, the SDK for Google Play game services will also be available to iOS and web developers.

Google noted a few titles for Android have already been updated with the feature including World of Goo, Super Stickman Golf 2, Beach Buggy Blitz, Kingdom Rush, Eternity Warriors 2, and Osmos.

Not surprisingly, the cross-platform gaming service will also build in Google+ integration to track high scores, achievements and more:

-Achievements that increase engagement and promote different styles of play.

-Social and public leaderboards that seamlessly use Google+ circles to track high scores across friends and across the world.

-Cloud saves that provide a simple and streamlined storage API to store game saves and settings. Now players never have to replay Level 1 again.

-Real-time multiplayer for easy addition of cooperative or competitive game play on Android devices. Using G+ Circles a game can have up to 4 simultaneous friends or auto-matched players in a game session together with support for additional players coming soon.

Google’s full press release below: Read more

Chrome gets background audio, Google+ 4.0, The Witcher 2 for Mac, GoPro App, Slashtop for Business, Rovio 99 cent sale, more

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kinds Enhanced Edition (for Mac): Developers of critically acclaimed RPG The Witcher 2, originally released on PC and consoles, announced that an OS X port of the game is now available on the Mac App Store for $20.

The Witcher 2 is one of the most sophisticated games ever presented on Mac computers. Prepare to test out the gaming potential of the new iMacs in one of the best looking games for Apple’s computers. We have prepared a special app to test the game’s performance before players can buy it. To check it out just click here

Chrome version 23.0.1271.96: Google has updated its Chrome iOS app today with one highly requested feature- the ability to play sound when the app is running in the background. That means content with sound that you are playing in the browser, such as a YouTube video or mp3, would continue play when multitasking. The update also includes a fix for a character encoding bug.

-Allow sound to play when app is backgrounded.
-Fix character encoding bug.

GoPro App version 1.1.13: GoPro has updated its iOS app to include support for features exclusive to the HERO3 camera lineup.

-Supports features in HERO3 cameras

Wreck-it Ralph version 1.1:

NEW ARRIVALS IN GAME CENTRAL STATION!
• Turbo Time is here! Enter the race for gold, and drive at turbo speed in this all-new arcade racer!
• New achievements are in! Earn new achievements for Fix-It Felix Jr., Hero’s Duty, Sweet Climber, and Turbo Time.
• Added language support for Dutch and Russian

Splashtop for business version 2.2.0.1:  Read more

How Google wants to own the iPhone and how Apple is trying to stop it

A Google Zombie iPhone?

With Android now on 75 percent of all smartphones sold, and Apple and Samsung battling in and out of court for the top vendor position, the smartphone wars usually come down to units sold. Apple vs. Samsung. Android vs. iOS. Less of a focus has been Google’s steady invasion of iOS, providing users with an alternative universe to most of the core features of Apple’s mobile operating system. The importance of Google’s ecosystem of iOS apps has never been more apparent than following the recent controversy over the removal of YouTube and Google Maps as default features of iOS. Apple realized the necessity of controlling key experiences on iOS, such as Maps, but it is running into a backlash from users in the process. It is not just facing competition from Android vendors; it is also now engaged in a struggle to keep Google from creating its own layer on top of iOS.

Google’s iOS apps are not just driving iPhone and iPad users to use Google services instead of Apple’s; they are increasingly an important aspect of the iOS experience for a large amount of users. Sixty-one percent of iOS users in our own polls said they were hesitant to even update to iOS 6 because of Apple’s new Maps app, many of which are still waiting for a standalone Google Maps app that Apple has yet to approve. Some say the Maps fiasco coupled with Siri might have even led to the departure of long-time iOS chief Scott Forstall, which many think could result in a new direction for iOS. What this means for Google’s presence on iOS going forward remains to be seen, but Apple does not appear to be ignoring the control Google’s apps have over its users.

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