Google Search iOS app gets massive update w/ ‘OK Google’ handsfree voice search, notifications, reminders, much more

The Google Search iOS app has received a huge update today that brings a number of new features including the ability to activate voice search handsfree. Users on iPhone 4S or later can now simply say “OK Google” to begin a voice search, much like what users have been able to do with Google Now on Android devices for quite some time.

Version 3.1.0 now includes notifications for upcoming events, flights and public transit. For example, the Google Search app will provide notifications for delayed flights, tell you how long you have to catch the last train, and remind you of upcoming appointments . You can also now set reminders within the app:

Ask Google to remember things for you. Just say
• “Remind me to buy coffee beans at Starbucks,” or
• “Remind me to check out the fair this weekend”
and Google will remind you at the right time or place

In addition, Google says users can now set reminders for when their favorite musicians, tv shows, actors or celebrities are releasing new content or appear in headlines. There are also new cards in the app that display info for movie and event tickets, boarding passes, rental car reservations, public transit and upcoming events.

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Chrome for iOS adds support for opening links in Google apps, voice & text-to-speech enhancements, fullscreen iPad, & data cost savings

Image (1) chrome-a_512.png for post 72530Google has just issued a big update to its Chrome app for iPhone and iPad that brings new “interoperability with other Google Apps” and a number of other notable features. That means that you’ll now be able to open all links for YouTube, Maps, Google+ and Drive in their native apps instead of in the browser. You’ll also now be able to access the apps with a single tap from within Chrome.

The update also brings enhancements to the newly introduced voice search capabilities, including: always visible controls from the toolbar and text-to-speech support for “all variations of English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, Japanese, and Korean.”

Other improvements in today’s update include fullscreen support on iPad, easier access to browser history, and, according to Google, data cost savings:

Reduce data usage and speed up page load times. View data savings in Bandwidth Management settings. This feature is being rolled out and will be available to all users over time.

Google explained the experimental data cost savings feature in a whitepaper when it was first introduced on Android. In the document, Google says its tests showed the feature can reduce data usage by up to 50%: Read more

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

DirecTV iPhone app adds ‘Voice Search’ feature, displays dialogue & results onscreen with TV Mode

DirecTV-voice-modeDirecTV has updated its iPhone app that allows users to access live and on demand programming, as well as manage their DIRECTV DVR, with new voice recognition features today. Accessible from a new tab called “Voice” within the app, the Voice Search feature allows users to “speak to the app just as you would to a person” in order to find and play specific programs.

As you can see from the screenshot to the right, DirecTV has created a UI similar to Siri and other voice-based apps that allows users to see their dialogue as they speak. The app will also let users switch to a TV mode in order to view dialogue and results from Voice Search on their TV instead of the iPhone’s display.

With Voice Search, DirecTV said users will be able to “search for programs by mentioning title, channel, keyword, actor, time frame, genre and more,” and also “change the channel, record, and play content” at home. The new TV Mode also offers a view of personalized recommendations on the big screen.

The update has not yet hit the iPad app and the TV Mode will require users to have an Internet-connected HR24 DVR model or above.

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Google Now launches for iOS, available as update to existing Search app

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 9.58.48 AM

After a few months of waiting, Google has just released its Google Now service for iOS users. The feature is available via an update to Google’s existing Search app for iOS.

What’s New in Version 3.0.0

Get just the right information at just the right time with Google Now.
• weather and traffic conditions before you start your day
• updates on your favorite sports teams and breaking news stories as they happen
Find out more about all other ways Google Now can help at http://www.google.com/now

Google is also working to bring some voice functionality to its desktop website. While Google Now has a voice component that has been compared to Apple’s Siri on many occasions, the essence of the feature is truly to provide timely, location based information.

The update is available for free for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch via the App Store. Read more