Google Announces New Partners for Custom Voice Actions on Android

OK Google

“OK Google” has changed the world as we know it, or at least the Android world as we know it. Either way, true fanboys believers know that Google’s voice recognition software is the most robust in the industry and the most capable of understanding regular, colloquial speech.

As voice search continues to evolve, its ability to integrate with apps has also improved. Today, Google announced a further step towards that integration. Third-party developers can now employ custom actions that integrate with voice search without the need to open the app first. Google has roped in a specific set of partners to develop this newfound synergy. And it’s all about synergy, folks. Who these partners are hasn’t been disclosed, but the gif below highlights both NPR and TripAdvisor, so let’s not assume that Google woke up today feeling magnanimous and in the mood to offer free ad space to both parties just for funsies.

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Windows 10 will be able to run Android and iOS apps

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Microsoft might finally be throwing in the towel, but in a smart way. The app scene for Windows has continued to be dismal at best. With roughly 90% of the market cornered by Android and iOS, developers see no need to put their resources into Windows until it shows significant growth.

Microsoft knows this and that is why they have announced something pretty significant with Windows 10. They released two development kits which will allow developers to port their apps and games to Windows universal apps. Android developers will be able to use Java and C++ code on Windows 10 and iOS developers will use their existing Objective C code.

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Lucid Sleep function allows your Chromebook to stay up-to-date even whilst sleeping

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If you are the proud owner of a new Chromebook Pixel, you’ll be glad to hear of a new, experimental feature called Lucid Sleep. Whilst it sounds like some sort of hush-hush project at Lockheed’s SkunkWorks facility, Lucid Sleep is actually a way of ensuring that your new Pixel Chromebook keeps up to date with push notifications while it is sleeping, much like your smartphone does.

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Debt repayment issues dictate that Ouya needs to find a buyer quickly

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It was only a couple of years ago that it was the darling of Kickstarter, blowing past its target goal of $950,000 with surprising ease and ending up with over eight and a half million dollars in funding. The start-up in question is Ouya, manufacturer of the Android micro gaming console, and thanks to a leaked memo from its CEO, Julie Uhrman, it would seem that the company has hit choppy waters as it now seeks a buyer.

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Google commits to updating Chrome for Windows XP users for another 8 months

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Windows. You either love it or you hate it, and if you love it, there’s a roughly 1-in-10 chance that you love it so much you couldn’t bear to move away from Windows XP. An operating system so old that even Microsoft has quit supporting it. Luckily, Google feels different about the 11% of worldwide computers believed to still use Windows XP.  The search giant has announced that it plans to continue supporting the ageing operating system with new builds of its Chrome browser.

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Amazon kills off its Test Drive service, announces it the day after the fact

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Amazon’s Appstore has been around a while now, providing a viable alternative to Google’s Play Store, as well as a couple of quirky features. One of which was the ability to try out apps in your browser before making the decision to install it on your device.  That feature was called Test Drive, and according to Amazon’s announcement, it has been swiftly pulled from service as of April 15th.

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Cyanogen OS 12 now available for the OnePlus One

Cyanogen 12

Owners of OnePlus One handsets might want to start tapping the Software Update button on their devices because Cyanogen’s OS 12 Lollipop update is busy rolling out after passing certification a few days ago. That’s right, the wait is (finally) over, and now you can choose whether to continue using Cyanogen’s firmware or the OxygenOS ROM developed by OnePlus. We have more details and the OTA link after the break.

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Samsung publishes kernel source code for Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (47)

So, you’ve just got your hands on a Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge smartphone and you’re already wondering how you can remove some of the bloatware, install a custom recovery or maybe even install firmware developed by a third-party such as Cyanogen. Thanks to Samsung publishing the kernel source code for both handsets, this possibility is now a step closer.

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Chainfire publishes preview of FlashFire, the successor to Mobile Odin

FlashFireIf you’ve ever rooted, flashed a custom rom, kernel or mod on a Samsung smartphone or tablet, there’s a good chance that you’ve used a tool developed by Chainfire at some point. You can count the SuperSu app, Triangle Away  and 500 Firepaper apps among his many creations, and now we have a new app called FlashFire which is currently in Beta status. Chainfire says the new app is the spiritual successor to Mobile Odin. Read more