Apple has updated an earlier lawsuit filed against Samsung with claims that the Galaxy S4 and its Google Now feature violate two Apple patents covering functions of its own virtual personal assistant, Siri. Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents relayed news of the updated complaint on Wednesday, and he noted that two of the patents — U.S. Patent 8,086,604, and U.S. Patent 6,846,959 — cover technologies related to Siri. Both filings describe a “universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system.” Apple also added three more patents to its earlier complaint that are not related to Siri, according to the report.
During what may be one of the longest keynotes in history, Google on Wednesday announced a number of new features for its core search product under the heading, “the end of search as we know it.” The company has updated its intelligent search feature “knowledge graph,” which now anticipates future searches based on past and current queries. So a search for “what is the population of India?” might also display the population of neighboring countries or all of Asia. Google search also now offers more personalized search results as well. For example, searching “what time is my flight?” will return an intelligent response based on flight confirmation emails in Gmail, even though the user did not offer any specific details in his or her query. More →
Google Now was probably the best thing to happen to mobile devices in 2012. Google’s brilliant virtual assistant uses location, search history and other data to automatically present users with information like the weather, driving directions to meetings and travel times, sports scores and more without any interaction required on the user’s part. After a long wait, iOS device users finally gained access to Google Now earlier this week when Google updated its iOS search app with Google Now functionality, but its arrival was marred by two problems: first, platform limitations on iOS and Google’s decision to forego push notifications make Now far less useful on Apple devices than it is on Android. Beyond that, an apparent bug in Google’s app is seemingly causing location services to stay on and drain users’ batteries. More →
Google’s award-winning intelligent personal assistant Google Now may be heading to the company’s homepage. The unofficial Google Operating System blog recently discovered the new feature mentioned in a series of code. Google Now is currently only available on Android smartphones and tablets running version 4.1 or later, and is rumored to be heading to iOS and Chrome in the near future. Adding Google Now to the company’s homepage will allow the feature to be utilized by billions of people worldwide. The source code suggests that Google Now on the Web will share the same features as on Android, allowing individuals to set a home and work location to show relevant information like weather, traffic conditions and nearby locations. Google could debut the new version of Google Now at its annual I/O Developers Conference on May 15th.
Itching to replace Siri with Google Now on your iPhone? Well, you might have to wait a while longer. TechCrunch reports that Google (GOOG) chairman Eric Schmidt on Thursday said that it was up to Apple (AAPL) on whether Google’s voice-enabled personal assistant application would make its way to the App Store anytime soon. When asked about Google Now coming to iOS at the Google Big Tent Summit in India this week, Schmidt responded that “you’ll need to discuss that with Apple” because “Apple has a policy of approving or disapproving apps that are submitted into its store, and some of them they approve and some of them they don’t.” In other words, it sounds as though the company has submitted Google Now to Apple for approval and that it’s currently waiting to see whether it gets approved. More →
Google Now, the voice-enabled personal assistant available on Android smartphones and tablets, may be making its way to the desktop. A new reference to the feature was discovered in the latest Chromium release, which gives users the ability to enable or disable the option. The feature is not yet available, however, and requires users to input the relevant — and secret — Google Now server information. Earlier reports indicated that Google (GOOG) was interested in expanding its virtual assistant beyond Android. The feature is listed to support Chrome for Windows and Chrome OS, although it is speculated that a Mac OS X release could also be in the works.
Google (GOOG) on Wednesday updated its Google Search application for devices running Android 4.1 and higher to include several new features. The application now offers a home screen and lock screen widget for Google Now, the company’s award-winning personal assistant, and also includes access to movie passes from Fandango, ratings and reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, real estate listings from Zillow, a new music button and support for U.S. college sports. The Google Search app is available for free from Google Play.
Google Now, the award-winning personal assistant/psychic stalker app that’s being pitched as a superior alternative to Siri, may be about to get its very own Android widget. AndroidCentral has spotted a reference to an in-development Google Now widget on a Google (GOOG) support page that goes right on users’ smartphone home screens and that gives them quick access to the information they most often request through the software. In the example shown on AndroidCentral, the widget displays the distance the user has to travel before arriving home, the weather at their current location and a stock ticker that displays Google’s share price. There’s no word on when this widget will be available but AndroidCentral speculates it will come through a manual update via the Google Play store.
As we’ve noted before, Google’s (GOOG) new voice-enabled personal assistant Google Now is one of the coolest new features on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and it’s received a lot of acclaim from around the tech world. And now, per Engadget, it looks like anyone with a desktop computer will soon be able to enjoy Google’s Siri killer right from within the Chrome web browser. More →
Google (GOOG) Now has received a lot of acclaim over the past few months, and now it’s received the coveted “Innovation of the Year” award from Popular Science as well. The publication praised Google’s voice-enabled personal assistant/psychic stalker app as “the first virtual assistant that truly anticipates your needs” and singled the way it “quietly keeps track of searches, calendar events, locations, and travel patterns.” Popular Science also couldn’t resist throwing an elbow at Apple’s (AAPL) Siri voice assistant, which it said seemed “outdated” compared to Google Now. More →
Siri got better in iOS 6 and will continue to get better in iOS 6.1, but compared to Google (GOOG) search assistant Google Now, it’s still very disappointing. Not only is Google Now faster, it’s more intelligent at providing useful answers and is more accurate at understanding human speech. If you’ve got a jailbroken iPhone, the NowNow hack is a nifty tweak that replaces Siri with Google Now. As you can see in the video below, the hack works very well. NowNow is available in the BigBoss Repository on Cydia and requires the Google Search iOS app to be installed or else it won’t work. More →
We’ve known about Google (GOOG) Now for months now, but Technology Review has an in-depth report on the new Android feature that details how it plans to one-up Apple’s (AAPL) popular Siri voice assistant by delivering information before you even ask for it. Anyone who thinks this sounds rather invasive is absolutely right, as Technology Review says that the software uses “the constant stream of data a smartphone collects on its owner with clues about the person’s life that Google can sift from Web searches and e-mails to guess what he or she would ask it for next.” More →
Nearly three months after Google (GOOG) announced Jelly Bean, Sprint (S) on Thursday finally updated the Galaxy Nexus smartphone to the latest version of Android. The update includes the normal benefits of Jelly Bean such as Google Now, offline voice dictation and the Project Butter user interface, however it will also remove Flash support. “Adobe will not be certifying the Adobe Flash Player for Android Mobile devices that either release with or update to Android 4.1,” Sprint said in its update notes. “Devices that upgraded from Android 4.0 to Android 4.1, may exhibit unpredictable behavior, as it is not certified for use with Android 4.1. Adobe recommends uninstalling Flash Player on devices which have been upgraded to Android 4.1.” Verizon Wireless (VZ) is now the only carrier that has not updated the Galaxy Nexus to the latest version of Android. More →