Most of Google Now’s original development team left before I/O 2015 Now on Tap announcement

googlenowcardsDuring Google I/O this year, the company showed off Now on Tap, which looks to be an extremely cool use of Google Now’s information scraping. Since then, Microsoft has already updated their Bing app to offer a similar experience, and it’s expected that Apple will do the same at some point. The competition in the digital personal assistant space is heating up very, very quickly, but unfortunately, Google may end up struggling to be competitive with other giants, according to some recent news. Read more

New update to Cortana for Android allows it to be the default voice assistant

microsoft_cortana_replaces_google_nowMicrosoft is trying to expand its digital assistant Cortana by offering access on phones, tablets, and computers. A new update (1.0.0.204) for the Cortana for Android beta app has hit the Play Store. With the update, Android users will now be able to replace Google Now as the default voice assistant with Cortana. Instead of holding down your home button or swiping up from your on-screen home button to launch Google Now, you can set Cortana to open.

Microsoft hasn’t mentioned when the official version of the app will be available, but one could expect it to arrive shortly. Once the official app is released, all of the features you get with Windows Phone will be available for Android users to enjoy.

Via: Unofficial Microsoft News

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.

Read more

Google’s “Trusted Voice” search feature beginning staged rollout

Google-searchGoogle has been testing out a “Trusted Voice” feature for unlocking and navigating your phone with specialized voice recognition, similar to the trusted places feature that’s already present in Google Now. It looks like that feature is starting to rollout to devices now.

The feature supposedly will only respond to your voice and no one else’s, but Google suggests that this feature isn’t as secure as other security features in the app. If you aren’t particularly worried, though, you’ll be able to say “Okay Google” to unlock your device and begin using Google Now.  Read more

Google Now cards on their way to Chrome Launcher 2.0

chrome_os_launcher_update

Owners of Chromebooks running the Chrome OS should expect to see a feature from the Android platform make its way over to their devices before much longer. Google has added support for Google search, including Google Now cards, to the next version of their Chrome Launcher 2.0. Testing of the new launcher is rolling out within the next week for users who are on the Chrome OS Beta Channel. Read more