With the release of Google Assistant, supplanting Google Now on the new Pixel with Android 7.1, Google’s speech recognition/AI engine is supposed to be more personable and less robotic. At the same time, Apple has been improving the accuracy and intelligence of Siri, which has until now been a distant second in the assistant space when it comes to accuracy. With the below video comparing iPhone 7 Plus and the the Pixel XL, YouTuber MKBHD shows that both have come a long way… expand full story
Over the last year, the artificial intelligence assistant “Viv” has garnered a lot of attention. Viv was cofounded by Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham, the original creaters of Siri, and has been billed as a more powerful and more capable personal assistant than Siri. Now, TechCrunch reports that Samsung has acquired Viv and plans to implement it into its devices.
September 9, 2015
Leading up to Apple’s “Hey Siri”-themed press event today, Siri has been giving out a lot of unhelpful announcement hints to users who say “Hey Siri, give me a hint”. One of these was a binary code, which when decoded only revealed the word “Gotcha”. It goes without saying that if you want some real hints about what Apple’s going to announce, all you need to do is to read Mark’s roundup.
But Sony, the company that just last week unveiled the world’s first 4K smartphone, the Xperia Z5 Premium, has taken to Twitter to taunt the Cupertino-based company. Also using the familiar binary, Sony wrote “01000111 01100001 01101101 01100101 00100000 01101111 01101110 00101110”. Converted to text? That’s “Game on.” expand full story
November 11, 2014
A few months back, YouTube launched its own weekly radio show on SiriusXM and today the Google-owned video sharing company announced a follow up program that will start airing on November 21st. Furthering its partnership with the satellite radio heavyweight, YouTube EDM 15 will run on BPM, the broadcasting outfit’s electronic dance channel.
October 8, 2014
June 26, 2014
YouTube may be in the process of starting its own music service, however the Google-owned company will soon be making the jump to radio as well. Yep, you read that correctly. Earlier today, Mountain View’s video streaming platform announced that it has made a deal with SiriusXM that will bring tracks from some of its featured up-and-coming recording artist to a weekly show aptly named YouTube 15.
December 18, 2013
Update: TechCrunch reports that this video is fake.
Update #2: TechCrunch now reports the video is real and commissioned by Yahoo!, but not a real product yet.
With Yahoo’s acquisition of SkyPhrase, a natural language processing startup this month questions immediately arose as to how Yahoo would incorporate the technology. Now, thanks to a video on Daily Motion discovered by Android Police, we may have our answer as Yahoo prepares a Google Now/Siri voice-controlled personal assistant.
June 11, 2013
Microsoft must be pretty happy with Apple’s decision to include Bing as the default search engine powered web results in Apple’s revamped Siri application heading to iOS 7 this fall. However, what does this all mean for Google? It could very well signal Apple’s increasing desire to cut its reliance on services powered by its biggest competitor in the smartphone space.
Before iOS 7, searching for something with Siri would often turn up the option to search for web results. Doing so would give you results through Safari using your default search engine (which by default is set to Google). Now, in iOS 7, web results will be displayed right in the Siri app, however, they will be powered by Microsoft’s Bing– and not Google. expand full story
May 8, 2013
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June 19, 2012
We heard several reports in the past that Google was working on various evolutions of its Voice Actions platform for Android. We heard of “Project Majel” in December, which, according to reports, is the codename for a new voice-controlled assistant app similar to Siri. In March, TechCrunch reported on a similar project dubbed “Google Assistant.” According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Google is accelerating its plans to launch a competitor to Apple’s Siri:
Google, meanwhile, has accelerated plans to launch its own Siri competitor that would work on Android-powered devices, people familiar with the matter have said.
The report does not offer any additional details on the project, but it noted: “In coming weeks, Google is expected to unveil a lower-priced Android tablet that it developed with Asustek Computer.” Google recently acquired Clever Sense, the makers of popular local recommendations app Alfred, and some have speculated the technology could be included in Google Siri competitor. Many expect the Google tablet, mentioned by WSJ, to unveil later this month at Google I/O, where we could also possibly see some of Jelly Bean and this rumored assistant feature.
May 3, 2012
March 16, 2012
The last we heard, Apple was working with developers of Siri alternatives such as True Knowledge, the developers behind “Evi,” to iron out similarities between the app and the iPhone 4S‘s flagship feature. Apple is quick to warn developers who are submitting Siri-like apps not to mimic native features of the OS. Apple wants an app’s features to remain “distinctly different from the iOS behaviors and interfaces to avoid causing user confusion.” Developer Sparkling Apps reached out to let us know Apple rejected its latest app submission called “Voice Answer,” with Apple telling the developer the Wolfram Alpha-powered alternative is “too similar to Siri.” The good news for Android users is the developers have decided to release an Android-only version on available Google Play now.
Apple is not flat-out rejecting all Siri alternatives/competitors. Sparkling Apps already has an app called “Voice Ask” on the App Store that sits in the top charts of the Reference category. Evi remains on the App Store as well. However, the Voice Ask app employs the same True Knowledge database as Evi. While Apple did not offer a specific reason for why the app was rejected, it is possible that Apple is more inclined to reject Siri-like apps using Siri’s Wolfram Alpha knowledge base. Unsurprisingly, the developers instead decided to release Voice Answer as an Android-only app on Google Play.
The app provides spoken answers, optional keyboard input, and configurable items stored in the app’s memory. According to the developer, Voice Answer’s “speech recognition works better than that of Siri, especially with foreign accents,” and the app includes a chatbot called “Eve” that you can teach answers. While most of these features are also baked into Evi, it is unclear exactly why Apple is working with some developers to coexist peacefully with Siri, and then flat-out rejecting others without discussion. Fortunately, the app did not have any issues making its way onto Google Play, and it is even marketed as the “Voice Answer- just like Siri.” We told you in January about the number of Siri clones hitting the market with the release of Evi for Android. The Voice Answer Android app is now available on Google Play for $3.99, and the developers promised that support for messaging and email is on the way.
February 27, 2012
Handset maker Motorola Mobility may have found itself in an uneasy place as both Microsoft and Apple are attempting to block its $12.billion sale to Google, but the company’s marketing department is as vigorous as ever. With this week’s spotlight on the latest mobile developments showcased at Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona, Spain, the Razr-maker published three provocative clips on its YouTube channel.
The videos pit the iPhone 4S-exclusive Siri feature against Android Voice Actions running on three different handsets: The Atrix 2, Photon 4G and Electrify. In each instance, Siri runs notably slower (and therefore less useful) than Android Voice Actions on Motorola’s devices.
Both Android Voice Actions and Siri need a network connection to upload audio samples of spoken queries. The cloud does the rest–speech recognition, parsing your query and beaming down the results. With that said, the performance gap that these clips highlight stems from the faster 4G networking on Motorola’s devices and has little to do with the type of processor, the amount of memory and other hardware features.
Two more clips are right below.
February 20, 2012
Google is on a roll these days in regards to interesting patent filings. The company filed a patent for Android’s pattern unlock feature in November, and a new filing suggests more unlocking methods with one involving voice recognition and the other based on a two-icon methodology. Today, Patently Apple pointed to another document the search company filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) on Sept. 29, 2011.
Being made public only recently, it describes methods and apparatus for a Google TV remote that lets you search for televisions shows, movies, music and other media simply by asking. This sounds a lot like Apple’s Siri voice assistant the rumor-mill speculates could enhance an alleged Apple-branded HD TV set.
The difference, per the publication:
Apple has had a similar feature under Remote for several years now, but it doesn’t relate to live TV as Google’s will. Google’s real competitor on this particular front will come from Samsung who just announced their latest TV remote with voice controls and a touch pad. The race to bring the best next generation TV Remote to market is officially on.
One embodiment of the invention describes a situation where a user searches for the popular sitcom “Seinfeld” simply by asking their Android phone, “When is Seinfeld on?” The phone would parse and send the query up to the Google cloud, beaming down the results to your Google TV set-top box.
GPS positioning could enhance the scope of the invention in interesting ways:
January 24, 2012
Samsung kick started its anti-Apple Galaxy S II campaign with a November 2011 advert that enraged people who would wait in line for a new iPhone. A follow-up commercial downplayed Apple’s iCloud and iTunes Match services as the campaign continued on Facebook. Earlier this week, Samsung shifted gear with an advert that lambasted Apple’s iPhone over its lack of stock turn-by-turn navigation software akin to Google Maps with Navigation for Android.
Today, the South Korean consumer electronics conglomerate aired another commercial following the “Samsunged” theme and focusing on the barista character featured in the November 2011 commercial. More precisely, it mocks the barista’s latte-making art. Samsung reserved an ad slot during Super Bowl XLVI, therefore, things should get interesting come Feb. 5. Let us know in the comments how you liked the new commercial.
Another advert pitting Android’s speech-to-text capabilities against Apple’s is right after the break.