One of the main features of Windows Phone 8.1 is Microsoft’s voice-based virtual assistant called Cortana. While Microsoft has extensively demoed Cortana on stage during its Build 2014 opening event and in many videos it posted on YouTube, now that Windows Phone 8.1 is available the assistant can be tested in real life situations. That’s exactly what WPCentral did, comparing Cortana to its rivals from Apple and Google. More →
Not knowing exactly where you parked your car can be a very problematic issue, and one that has probably affected us all more than once during our lifetimes. Luckily, Google is aware of this major problem and may have already devised a way to fix it: with help of Google Now. Android Police has found evidence that Google may be working on adding such functionality to its search-based virtual assistant in the future, although nothing is official just yet. More →
Google has been experimenting with putting its voice-enabled Google Now personal assistant onto desktop versions of Chrome for the past couple of months and now it looks like the company is finally ready to roll it out to everyone. Google announced on Monday that “starting today and rolling out over the next few weeks, Google Now notifications will be available to Chrome users on their desktop or laptop computers.” To get Google Now on your browser, Google says that you just have to sign into the same Google account that you use for Google Now on iOS and Android.
Google on Wednesday updated its Google Search / Google Now app for Android with new voice commands that will supposedly let users take pictures and record videos even faster. Instead of looking for the camera app, users will be able to say one of the two new commands, including “Ok Google, take a photo,” and “Ok Google, take a video,” to quickly launch the appropriate camera mode. More →
A Google Now smartwatch may be in the works, Bloomberg reveals, but surprisingly, Google isn’t developing it. The publication has learned that the Google Now smartwatch is one of the three wearable concepts HTC is working on, with one of them to be privately shown to carriers at MWC 2014. However, these products won’t be available on display to regular visitors of the popular Barcelona trade show. More →
The Nexus 5 has one piece of exclusive software that’s not officially available on other Android devices – the Google Experience Launcher that has Google Now/Search functionalities backed in right into the default launcher – and Google said that the feature would only be available on its latest Nexus phone. That may soon change, however, as the latest update to the Google Search app update has revealed, according to Android Police.
A couple of weeks ago, Google quietly released a desktop-centric version of Google Now for Chrome Canary, the experimental build of Chrome primarily designed for developers and early adopters. On Monday, however, Google announced that it was taking the next step toward making Google Now more widely available to desktop users by integrating it into Chrome Beta, which is a much more stable build than Chrome Canary but that still has a lot of Google’s more experimental new features. More →
Android has a lot of great native features and one of its best is Google Now, the voice-enabled personal assistant software that aims to give you important information before you even think to ask for it. Google Operating System reports that Google has now released a desktop version of Google Now that is integrated into Chrome Canary, the more “cutting-edge” version of its Chrome browser that is designed specifically for engineers and early adopters. More →
There’s no question that smartphone developers believe voice-activated personal assistants are the wave of the future, but in their current state, they have failed to generate much excitement. Case in point: just 15% of iOS 7 users said they had used Siri in a survey conducted earlier this year.
People love Android for dozens of reasons. The wide range of functionality, the hundreds of thousands of apps, the versatility afforded by Google’s open source approach… these elements all combine to create a fantastic mobile experience. But if there’s one thing that is perhaps most impressive and most useful about Google’s mobile operating system, it’s arguably Google Now — and it just got a whole lot better. More →
The Galaxy Gear may have fallen well short of expectations of both Samsung and consumers, but wearable technology is still in its infancy. Google might be the next to attempt a smartwatch and according to 9to5Google, the announcement of Google’s Nexus-branded watch might come as soon as October 31st alongside the official unveiling of Android 4.4 KitKat and possibly the Nexus 5. Although much of this information has already been reported, some new details were included in the report, such as the fact that “Google Now functionality would be at the center of the product.” Much of the heat Samsung received for the Gear related to the fact that the smartwatch just wasn’t that smart. It can only perform rudimentary tasks and provide very basic notifications. With that in mind, Google Now could make for a much more robust second screen experience.
Google isn’t afraid to take a chance on outlandish-seeming projects but the company’s next challenge might be its most daunting yet: It wants to make local news relevant again. Quartz reports that Google is testing out a new feature for its Google Now mobile application that will deliver users more local news based on wherever they’re located. Johanna Wright, Google’s vice president of search, tells Quartz that the company wants the new feature to help users learn more about their neighborhoods and potentially get more involved in their communities. More →
It looks like Google at last appears ready to integrate its Google Now personal assistant app into both its Chrome browser and Chrome operating system. CNET reports that “Google is making steady progress” in its quest to bring Google Now to more desktop users and has now added a flag to Chrome and Chrome OS “that lets people enable Google Now,” although the publication notes that the service isn’t connected to any of Google’s servers just yet. Google first debuted Google Now last year as an application that uses search history and location history to figure out what information users might need before they even ask for it. Examples include being able to tell users how long their typical commutes will be given current traffic conditions, and being able to figure out how long in advance users will have to leave for them to make appointments on time.