Siri March 3

GOOG: 712.42

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Google might just be admitting a notable defeat in its battle with Amazon, with the latter company today saying that Nest thermostats will soon work with Alexa-powered devices. According to a report from Re/code, people familiar with the matter have said that Alphabet’s Nest unit explored the idea of building an Echo-like device at some point, but eventually came to the conclusion that customers wouldn’t be able to trust such a device that was built by the search engine behemoth…

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Siri December 9, 2015

GOOG: 751.61

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Microsoft has been offering the Android version of its intelligent assistant Cortana as a small-scale beta since last month, and it’s now ready to go live. Engadget notes that it just hit Google Play.

Don’t expect it to match Google Now for functionality, however – with Google’s own assistant deeply embedded into Android and Cortana a mere app, it will have limited capabilities, but you can at least see how it compares when it comes to answering questions …

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Siri October 8, 2014

9to5mac 

Siri June 16, 2014

According to a new report out of the Wall Street Jounral, speech and dictation service Nuance Communications has held acquisition talks with Samsung and has been exploring the possibility of a sale. It is widely speculated that the Apple’s virtual assistant Siri is powered by Nuance in the back-end. Samsung started partnering with Nuance late in 2013 for the voice recognition functionalities on its Galaxy Gear smart watch and Galaxy Note 3 smartphone.

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Siri March 20, 2014

Two former Stanford University students who created a startup to help doctors use Google Glass to view and update patient records have raised $3.2M in venture capital funding, reports SFGate.

Augmedix’s founders say that physicians currently spend around a third of their time with a patient looking at a computer screen, and that using Glass instead will allow them to spend more time communicating with patients …  expand full story

Siri March 6, 2014

Google has rolled out a massive update to its Text-to-Speech Android app that includes a variety of enhancements. The update, which began rolling out to devices yesterday evening, bumps the app to version 3.0. Most notably, this update improves the voice functionality and quality. While the voice was originally rather robotic and boring, this update makes it more fluent and realistic, much like Apple did with Siri in iOS 7. The updated voice is available in several languages and both male and female varieties, but each language and style runs about 200MB, so be sure you’re on WiFi when you download them. The voices are also now available in Portugese (Brazil), and Spanish (United States).

There are some issues with the new voices, however. Android Police notes that commands that contact the Google server for a reply, such as “what is 3+2”, still use the old robotic voice. Local questions, such as  “what is my next appointment”, do use the new voices, however.

The user interface has also been tweaked heavily. The voice management screen has been redesigned to show the size of each download, as well as detailed information about the voice.

The update is rolling out gradually on Google Play, so be sure to keep an eye on the Play Store for it to hit your device.

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