Google Now will reportedly soon be able to remember where you parked

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Just a couple of weeks ago we reported that Google Now would soon add the ability to remind you when to pay your bills. Now, Android Police has discovered hints at yet another new feature potentially on its way to Google Now. According to the report, Google Now will soon be able to remember where you parked your car and help you locate it. The feature will recognize when you stop your car and get out, save the location, and present you with a Card showing you exactly where your car is.

The Card will be able to navigate you back to the location of your car, and should Google give you an incorrect location, there is a button below the map that offers the ability to correct Google. Based on the information available Android Police created the above mock-up, which shows how far away your car is, when you parked it, and of course, where you parked. In addition to information obtained from other sources, there are several hints that corroborate this report in the code of the most recent Google Search.

The report gives this rumor an 8/10 as a confidence rating, with it losing points due to “the unpredictable nature of pre-release features, and the fact that while there is teardown-based evidence for this, it is rather scant.” Nevertheless, it does seem likely that this feature is currently being developed by Google and does exist.

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Google Now may soon be able to remind you to pay your bills

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Since its release, Google Now has added a plethora of features, such as improved traffic capabilities, voice commands, and much more. According to a new report from Android Police, the service will be receiving yet another new capability in the near-future that will help you remember to pay your bills.

According a person familiar with the matter, Google Now will soon add an interface that will remind you of upcoming bills, including how much they will be for. The feature, which will be integrated into the classic Google Now card interface, will also include a link to easily pay the bill online.

The screenshot below is a mockup of the interface based on the available information. The latest update to the Search app also includes hints at this feature, some of which were used to help make the mockup. As you can see, the card shows the amount due, the minimum payment, and any other information.

Android Police says the source for this feature is very reliable and that their “confidence level” with this report is a 9/10. It’s unclear when this feature will launch, but given that there is already code appearing the Search app, we shouldn’t have to wait too long.

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Google Search updated with ability to launch camera with voice commands

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Google today has released an update for its Search app on Android that adds a cool new voice command. With this update, you can now instruct your device to open the camera by simply tapping the microphone and saying “Ok Google,” then “take a photo” or “take a video.” Google says this will make it much easier to grab shots of those can’t-miss moments.

The first home run in T-ball, the surprise proposal, or just that gorgeous sunset… Sometimes the perfect photo passes you by as you fumble with your phone to open the camera app. Now with the Google Search App on Android, you can just tap the microphone or say “Ok Google,” then “take a photo” or “take a video.” Google will launch your camera app in the preferred mode. So update your app, snap those shots and don’t forget to show off your beautiful photos!

The update appears to be a staged rollout so it may take sometime to hit your device. Be sure to keep an eye on the Play Store and your Search app itself.  Read more

Google releases ‘Android Wear’ SDK developer preview, says Android-powered wearables coming later this year

Following confirmation from Google’s Sundar Pichai earlier this month that a Android SDK for wearables was on the way, 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:

Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; chip makers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm; and fashion brands like the Fossil Group to bring you watches powered by Android Wear later this year.’

What can developers do with Android Wear? Google says the devices will be capable of displaying, for example, the latest posts and updates from social and messaging apps, answers via “OK Google” voice commands and Google Now-like functionality, as well as a number of fitness and health related data points. Google is also allowing Android Wear devices to talk with other devices like your phone or Chrome device through voice commands: Read more

Motorola updates Touchless Control app with new “What’s up?” voice command

Motorola this evening has released an update for its Touchless Control app that adds a few new features. Most notably, the update adds a new feature that allow you to ask your phone “What’s up?” to have your notifications read back to you. Simply say “Ok, Google Now, what’s up?” or “Ok, Google Now, read notifications” and the app will read your notifications back to you, allowing you to make the decision of whether they are important or not. Obviously, this is most useful while driving and can help you find out why your phone is buzzing without putting yourself or others at risk.

In addition to the “What’s up?” command, the update enhances end-of-speech detection for improved accuracy and faster responses and includes some bug fixes. The full change log is below:

What’s New
  • Enhanced end-of-speech detection for improved accuracy and faster responses
  • New “What’s Up” / “Read Notifications” voice command that reads out new notifications so you never miss a thing
  • “What’s Up” / “Read Notifications” fully launched for U.S. English, Spanish, and Italian and in beta for other languages / regions.
  • Compatible only with Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Bug fixes

The update is live on the Play Store now. It’s important to note, however, that Touchless Control is only compatible with the Moto  X, DROID ULTRA, DROID MAXX, and DROID Mini.