voice Stories May 13, 2014

Google Search for iOS 4.0 adds new voice search options, more relevant results, and more

Google has updated its iOS search app to version 4.0, which introduces a variety of new and useful changes. The app now recognizes new voice search cues and conversational input similar to the way Siri works. For example, Google says you can ask the app “What’s the weather like?” and follow up with “How about this weekend?” to get results relevant to the weekend rather than the current day.

The app will now also alert you when you new articles on certain topics appear. The feature is powered by Google Now, which learns your favorite authors, blogs, and more to provide you with customized alerts.

Finally, a few other changes to the app include faster loading, cricket sports data for Google Now, and an updated images search page.

Google Search is available for free on the App Store. The full change log is below:

What’s New in Version 4.0.0

With today’s update, you can ask questions with your voice & get updates on topics you care about.

Have a smarter conversation with Google: • Tap the microphone or say “Ok Google” to start • Ask questions such as “What’s the weather like?” • Then follow up with “How about this weekend?”

At Google, we know the web well. With Google Now, we’ll tell you when there’s an interesting article for: • Your favorite topics • Your upcoming trips • Your favorite authors and blogs

Smaller updates include: • Cricket sports cards in Google Now • Faster loading of Google Search and Google Now • More beautiful and fluid image results

voice Stories May 7, 2014

Adobe is out today with a new app for iPad that leverages the use of multimedia and speech to create simple and creative animated videos. The app is called Adobe Voice (it may look familiar to you if you recall Ginger) and the creative software company thinks it can make you a better story teller using your iPad. Adobe Voice combines the use of narration, photographs, text, and iconography with a number of templates which include music to create a really neat experience for making crafty videos. Check out my experience (and videos) below. expand full story

voice Stories March 18, 2014

Ahead 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

voice Stories February 24, 2014

WhatsApp plans to add Facebook Messenger-like voice calling features by next quarter

Just about everyone in the tech industry is talking about the $19B Facebook/Whatsapp deal, so what better time to announce new features coming soon to the service. TechCrunch reports that WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum announced at Mobile World Congress today that the app will gain voice calling functionality sometime in Q2 of this year:

“We use the least amount of bandwidth and we use the hell out of it,” he said. “We will focus on simplicity.” Voice will come to Android and iOS first and then following on some Nokia and BlackBerry phones, he added.

The report adds that WhatsApp will also soon be working with some carrier partners:

While WhatsApp, as an OTT service, may appear like one of the companies that is attacking carriers, it is also working with them. The first partnership will be with e-plus to offer special tariffs to access the app, Koum said today. Interestingly, disrupting the current mobile communications economy has put WhatsApp right back into the kinds of services that built out that economy in the first place — in today’s case, voice.

Facebook of course already offers voice calling in some countries, but it’s unclear if the new WhatsApp feature will be integrated with the Facebook voice features. WhatsApp already offers users the ability to send short recorded voice messages as pictured above).

Despite the plans for new features, Koum reiterated that, “There are no planned changes and we will continue to do what we set out to do, even after the acquisition closes.” That, he said, includes “no marketing.”

voice Stories October 4, 2013

An Atlanta woman has come forward to CNN as the U.S. voice of Siri, the built-in “personal assistant” first introduced in the iPhone 4S. Susan Bennett says she first discovered that her voice was being used on Apple’s smartphones when a friend emailed her and asked if it was her voice on the iPhone commercial. She headed to the Apple website to discover that she had unknowingly provided the voice for the system with samples she recorded in July of 2005, a full six years before the phone’s launch.

expand full story

voice Stories September 14, 2013

With the iPhone 4S launch nearly two years ago, Apple introduced the Siri voice control system to its customers. At launch, Siri was a gimmicky feature at best, being released with bugs, a highly-computerized voice, sluggish content loading, and unreliable servers. In addition, Siri of 2011 was short on user compatibility, only launching with knowledge of English, French, and German. Apple certainly did not deny the early issues with Siri: the company launched the product in “beta,” a tag that has remained on the software ever since.

Since 2011, Apple has been slowly improving the service. In early 2012, Siri gained support for Japanese, and with iOS 6 in late 2012, the service added support for several new languages and capabilities. With iOS 7, Siri has been given a redesigned user-interface, new functionality, and all-new voices. Many of the server errors and lengthy processing time issues that riddled the product in its early days have now disappeared; and it seems that Apple agrees. With the upcoming launch of iOS 7, it appears that Apple will finally be taking Siri out of “beta.”

Late this past week, Apple updated its Siri webpages to drop all references to the product being in beta. Prior to this past week, the bottom of the Siri informational page read:

expand full story

Powered by WordPress.com VIP