Google Now Stories May 30, 2016

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When the original developers of Siri jumped ship to develop a competing intelligent assistant called Viv, they dismissed Apple’s implementation of their intelligent assistant as just ‘a clever AI chatbot.’ We’ve since heard that Apple plans to offer a Siri SDK that will allow it to call on the capabilities of third-party apps (something I called for last year) – but it seems like the company is also seeking to go even beyond Viv’s capabilities.

Apple last year acquired British intelligent assistant developer VocalIQ – a tool specifically geared to truly conversational queries – and a source who spoke to Business Insider gave some insight into just how intelligent Siri could become when infused with this tech …

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Google Now Stories March 1, 2016

Hound (Featured Image)

Hound, a voice search application from the creators behind SoundHound, has been released today for iOS. Hound’s application focuses on bringing users quick, accurate voice driven search results in a way I only wish Siri could. Implementing Google Now-style cards, Hound’s interface is direct and to the point. Users are presented with a list of similar topics they can search for, and even given examples of the complex queries Hound can handle.

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Google Now Stories November 18, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.26.54 PMGoogle today is rolling out an update to its iOS app that brings the app to version 10.0 and includes a handful of visual changes. With today’s update, the voice search feature has been redesigned to be more inline with Google’s Material Design aesthetic, while the Google Now cards in the app are now organized in a much more straightforward way.

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Google Now Stories November 9, 2015

Siri beats out Google Now and Cortana in survey, with 81% user satisfaction rating

A survey in which Siri, Google Now and Cortana users were asked to rate their satisfaction with their respective intelligent assistants found that Siri got the highest scores, with 81% of users declaring themselves satisfied compared to 68% for Google Now and just 57% for Cortana.

Survey participants were also asked to try out seven different requests and report on how well their service performed, as well as to note how many times they were asked follow-up questions. Siri had the lowest percentage of incorrect answers, and also asked fewer follow-up questions before it was able to carry out the task or answer the question.

Siri is definitely a feature that polarises users – some (like me) extremely satisfied with it, while I know others who report getting better results with Google Now. Microsoft is allowing a small number of iOS users to try out a beta version of Cortana for the iPhone.

Siri got the highest satisfaction score for setting an appointment, and the lowest for the question ‘When does Kung Fu Panda 3 come out?’.

You can see full details at the Experts Exchange site.

Siri’s latest trick is speaking Arabic, following the Apple Store openings in the UAE.

Google Now Stories August 31, 2015

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Android Wear finally has iOS support after Google pushed its iPhone-compatible software to the App Store. This means that Android has beaten Apple Watch to the cross-platform game. Or, at least it would, if iOS didn’t restrict it to a state of almost uselessness. The only device officially supported is the LG Watch Urbane although — as we previously revealed — the older generation Android Wear watches do work. I got it set up with my Moto 360, and have been mostly disappointed by my experience so far.

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Google Now Stories August 12, 2015

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Google today has started rolling out an update to its iOS app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. The update, the first significant update to come to the app in some amount of time, bumps it to version 7.0 and includes a handful of notable new features.

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Google Now Stories June 5, 2015

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Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference is about to kick off. On Monday, June 8th, company executives will take the stage at San Francisco’s Moscone Center to provide their annual roadmap for Apple’s software, services, and devices.

Traditionally, Apple has used the conference to introduce major upgrades to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system iOS, as well as the Mac operating system OS X, along with new services. Of course, 2015 will be no different. Apple has been preparing a new version of iOS 9 codenamed “Monarch,” a release of OS X 10.11 codenamed “Gala,” a new streaming Apple Music service based on Beats Music, and updates for the Apple Watch.

Over the last several years, we have provided advance reports on the lion’s share of announcements that will be made at WWDC, as well as a comprehensive roundup ahead of the event. Read on for our roundup of what’s coming, along with fresh new details not found in our earlier reports.

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Google Now Stories December 15, 2014

You can now control your Nest with Google Now voice commands

It was only a matter of time following Google’s acquisition of home automation company Nest earlier this year that users would begin receiving the best of both worlds. One of the first marriages of each company’s products and services is Google Now integration with Nest, allowing for users to control the smart thermostat using voice commands.

Google Now Stories September 19, 2014

Google Search iOS app renamed ‘Google’, adds Chromecast integration, new Now cards

Google just updated its Google Search app for iOS and in the process renamed it to simply “Google”, which seems to make a bit more sense considering the app integrates Google Now features and much beyond just search. Also in today’s update: new features for Chromecast and additional Google Now cards.

For Chromecast users, the app now allows users to ask “What’s on Chromecast?” and jump right into the Chromecast app to begin casting content to a TV. The update also includes new Google Now cards that Google says offer “personalized TV recommendations and traffic information.”

Version 4.2.0 of the Google app is available on the App Store now.

What’s New in Version 4.2.0

This update includes new Google Now cards for personalized TV recommendations and traffic information. Chromecast users can now ask Google “what’s on Chromecast?” to open the Chromecast app and start casting. We’ve also made improvements to speed up your browsing experience.

Sign in to the Google app and enable Now cards to take full advantage of these new features.

Google Now Stories August 12, 2014

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“Siri is chapter one of a much longer, bigger story,” says Dag Kittlaus, one of three of the original creators of Apple’s virtual personal assistant. The team, originally acquired by Apple as part of its $200M purchase of Siri, has now left the company to form a new startup, Viv Labs, to work on the rest of that story.

The vision described by the team in a lengthy piece in Wired is certainly ambitious. The problem with Siri, they say, is that it can only do things it has been explicitly programmed to do.

Though Apple has since extended Siri’s powers—to make an OpenTable restaurant reservation, for example—she still can’t do something as simple as booking a table on the next available night in your schedule. She knows how to check your calendar and she knows how to use Open­Table. But putting those things together is, at the moment, beyond her.

What Kittlaus and his team want to do is create a personal assistant which can learn to do new things for itself …  expand full story

Google Now Stories July 28, 2014

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Microsoft ads seem to make a habit of bashing Apple, even using Siri’s voice to do so – and without the company concerning itself too much about accuracy. Microsoft has now released the 30-second commercial it first showed at its developer’s conference back in April …  expand full story

Google Now Stories June 11, 2014

Google Search iOS app adds World Cup Google Now cards ahead of event

Google has been adding StreetView, Maps, and new search features specifically for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup, and today it brings new Google Now cards to the Google Search app for iOS. The new cards for the Google Now feature in the app will present the latest on World Cup news including “scorers, match statistics, group standings and more.”

Also new for this year’s tournament, you don’t even have to search to get updates on your favorite teams—just open Google Now. You’ll be given an option to start seeing cards with stats about each match that you can tap for more detail… Make sure you are signed in to Google, and have your Google Now turned on in your settings. Swipe up to see your Google Now cards and follow your favorite team!

The updated Google Search app for iOS is available on the App Store now.

Google Now Stories May 29, 2014

Even if you’re strictly an iOS user, you’ve probably heard of Android’s “Ok Google” command, which automatically brings up the Google Now voice control interface from the home screen. iOS doesn’t really have an equivalent feature. In order to bring up Siri, you have to hold the home button down for a few seconds.

Today a new jailbreak tweak called OkSiri was released that enables the same functionality on iOS devices. It works just like you see in the video above, though there are a few little annoyances. Keep reading for a full breakdown on the upsides and downsides to this tweak.

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Google Now Stories April 2, 2014

Microsoft’s ‘Cortana’ Siri-clone shows the potential of third party app integration for the personal assistant

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DE5wCBb7GwI&list=UUZPiiUjDlrBv4jiiRqk5dSA

At its BUILD conference, Microsoft officially unveiled its personal assistant for Windows Phone named Cortana. The similarities to Siri are rather uncanny (and three years late) but in some areas, Siri could definitely learn from Cortana’s feature set.

Cortana certainly does a good job of cloning Siri’s appearance and functionality. However, it goes further by allowing third-party applications to do tasks and answer questions as well. For instance, you can ask Cortana to add a film to your Hulu watch list with natural language.

Google Now Stories March 18, 2014

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrqZl2QIz0c]

silver_metal_600_00010Ahead of the release of Apple’s much rumored “iWatch” wearable product, Google has now officially announced Android’s entrance into wearables with project “Android Wear.” The Android Wear SDK allows developers to integrate a number of features into Android powered wearables and relies heavily on Google Now functionality, as we were first to report late last year.

Google also confirmed that it’s working with a handful of partners to bring Android Wear powered wearables to market by later this year: expand full story

Google Now Stories March 3, 2014

Does this animation look familiar to you? Microsoft’s answer to Siri revealed

The Verge provides a first look at the animation for Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Siri. While it’s a still photo rather than a video, it seems pretty clear how the circular animation works … can anyone think of where they’ve seen anything like that before?

Cortana – named after the AI character in the Microsoft game Halo – is set to appear in the forthcoming 8.1 update to Windows Phone. The feature looks like a relatively direct Siri clone, with some features borrowed from Google Now – such as the ability to scan your emails for things like flight numbers and plans to schedule meetings.

It’s not yet known whether Cortana will be the public name of the feature, or just an internal codename.

Google Now Stories January 16, 2014

Google Now comes to the Mac in the latest Chrome Canary release

There have been indications for a long time that Google Now was eventually coming to the Chrome browser. Via the Google Operating System Blog, the service has finally surfaced in the most recent release of Chrome Canary (Google’s name for the app’s ‘alpha’ channel builds).

As expected, Google Now in Chrome closely mirrors Google Now on Android. The contextually-relevant cards (which show information such as weather, news or upcoming flights) appear in Chrome’s Notification Center on the desktop. The notification area can be accessed in the menubar, represented by a bell icon.

Google Now Stories December 18, 2013

From 9to5Google:

Update: TechCrunch reports that this video is fake.

Update #2: TechCrunch now reports the video is real and commissioned by Yahoo!, but not a real product yet.

With Yahoo’s acquisition of SkyPhrase, a natural language processing startup this month questions immediately arose as to how Yahoo would incorporate the technology. Now, thanks to a video on Daily Motion discovered by Android Police, we may have our answer as Yahoo prepares a Siri voice-controlled personal assistant.

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Google Now Stories December 12, 2013

Google Maps iOS app gets some Google Now functionality, showing reservation info

The latest version of the Google Maps iOS app has been given some Google Now functionality: when you click on an airport, hotel or restaurant, the app will display any reservation information it can find in your linked gmail account. This functionality was previously only available in the desktop app.

Although Google has added a succession of features to the app, data last month showed that most iPhone users were using the pre-installed Apple Maps. Adding Google Now functionality is an attractive feature for gmail users, but Google faces the same problem as ever since Apple replaced Google Maps with its own offering: most iPhone users will use what Apple gives them.

Google Maps is a free download from iTunes.

Google Now Stories December 6, 2013

The Siri trivia challenge: how many of these 50 things did you know Siri could do?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtwVQhEXCcc]

PhoneBuff has put together an interesting video showcasing fifty things Siri can do now, and we think there’s a pretty high chance you won’t be aware of all of them. It’s getting on for eight minutes long, but well worth a look if you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of Apple’s virtual assistant.

The video includes examples of linked queries, where Siri knows who or what you are referring to based on your previous question.

PhoneBuff did a similar thing with Google Now’s Voice Commands, and although they don’t use the same questions – each video is designed to illustrate their respective capabilities rather than a head-to-head challenge – it does make for an interesting comparison. Google video below.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vT0AWDq3DE]

Google Now Stories October 3, 2013

cue

Apple seems to have acquired Cue, a former personal assistant application for the iPhone. TechCrunch says that the purchase price was in the realm of $40 million, and AppleInsider initially reported the rumor this morning. Cue’s service shut down yesterday, leading to the acquisition chatter. The company gave its “sincerest thanks” to users, but did not provide detail behind the closure…

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Google Now Stories June 27, 2013

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Back in May, Apple was attempting to add Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 as an infringing device in its ongoing, second major patent dispute with Samsung in California. It was also claiming that Samsung infringed two Siri related patents with the device’s Google Now voice assistant feature. Now, according to a report from Bloomberg, Apple has been denied its request to add the device with  U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal claiming it would be a “a “tax on the court’s resources”:

Adding another product to the case is a “tax on the court’s resources,” Grewal said in the ruling. “Each time these parties appear in the courtroom, they consume considerable amounts of the court’s time and energy, which takes time way from other parties who also require and are entitled to the court’s attention.”

Apple lawyer Josh Krevitt claims that denying to add the device in the ongoing patent suit would force Apple to “‘file a new lawsuit’ because the Samsung products covered by the case will be out of date by trial next year.”  expand full story

Google Now Stories May 22, 2013

Google rolling out voice search for Chrome on iPhone and iPad in coming days

Google announced today on its Chrome blog that a new update will soon be rolling out to its Chrome app for iPhone and iPad that will allow users to access voice search features previously limited to the Google Search app. Using the same omnibox currently included in the app, Google will soon allow users to tap a microphone icon to search using only their voice with a UI similar to the recently redesigned voice search on Mac.

Google said the updated Chrome app should be landing on the App Store in the coming days.

Google also noted that the updated iOS app would provide faster reloading of web pages and an option for third-party apps “to open links in Chrome and then return to the app with just one tap.”

Earlier today Google began rolling out revamped voice search functionality in the Chrome app for Mac users.

Google Now Stories May 7, 2013

More hints of Google Now for the desktop appear before Google I/O

Last month we saw hints that Google Now could be coming to the web, and now it looks like we could see deeper integration than we thought.

François Beaufort points us to Notification Center pop-ups being developed in a recent Chromium build, much like the Gmail notifications offered by its web app.

Read the full story on 9to5Google.com.

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