ok google Stories February 2, 2017

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Smart Lock is one of Android’s most underrated features and makes security less of a hassle. However, a recent bug keeps automatically disabling the ‘Trusted voice’ option, thus making “Ok Google” slightly less convenient. Fortunately, a fix has now been identified and is rolling out soon.

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ok google Stories December 9, 2015

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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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ok google Stories December 7, 2015

Google launches Reminders to bring to-dos into Calendar mobile apps

Today Google Calendar for both Android and iOS gains a handy new Reminders feature that works alongside the app’s to-dos feature.

With the Reminders feature, users will be able to keep track of to-do lists across Google platforms including Inbox, Google Keep, Google Now, and Calendar.

Here’s how the new reminders work:

You might already create calendar entries to remind you to call the doctor or pick up groceries on the way home. But while those entries come and go, Reminders stick with you over time so you can track them until they are actually done. If a Reminder isn’t completed, it will appear at the top of your Calendar the next day. And the next. When you do finally call the doctor or pick up those necessities, just swipe the Reminder away … and you’re onto the next to-do.

And since the reminders work across Google apps, you can create them from Inbox, Google Keep, Calendar, and even using Google Now voice commands: “Ok Google, remind me to buy birthday candles.”

The new Reminders feature for Calendar on Android and iOS is rolling out this week. Google says it will come to the web apps in the near future. The updated Google Calendar app for iOS also adds 3D Touch to create events or reminders.

ok google Stories July 28, 2015

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Google announced today that it’s now allowing Android users to send messages via third-party services like WhatsApp and Viber using its “OK Google” voice control feature: expand full story

ok google Stories June 29, 2015

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The Google app — previously known as “Search” — was updated to version 4.8 last week, and now a new teardown has revealed some interesting new details about some features that might be coming in future versions. Most notably, it looks like offline support for “OK, Google” is likely to be on the way, letting you give your device some voice commands without having a connection to the Internet… expand full story

ok google Stories June 22, 2015

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Update: What’s that? Oh, just the smell of change. After initially standing firm on its implementation of the hotwording module and proprietary Google extension being automatically downloaded in new installations of the Chromium open source browser, a wave of criticism has led to the team pulling it out of Chromium 45 and onwards. The module that manages whether the hotword listening extension is enabled will be “disabled by default” and the proprietary technology that actually listens for “Ok Google” will not download. A member of the team says simply:

In light of this issue, we have decided to remove the hotwording component entirely from Chromium. As it is not open source, it does not belong in the open source browser.

The original story continues below.

It all started with a blinking LED light. Ofer Zelig wrote on his blog today about an odd case where the LED light on his computer, that turns on whenever the microphone or camera is activated, seemed to blink every few seconds or so while he was working on his PC. He investigated in the Windows Task Manager to look for any process that might be to blame – no dice. He shut down some suspicious processes that might have been causing it and says he didn’t have any malware installed, but still to no avail. Turns out, the culprit was none other than Google’s Chrome browser…

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ok google Stories December 19, 2014

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While “OK Google” capability has been available in the form of a Chrome extension for quite some time now, those using it had to be on a specific page within Chrome for the browser to be listening for the appropriate hot words. Now, Google has pushed—in the dev build of Chrome OS—the option for users to turn on always-listening “OK Google,” which will allow you to use voice activation from anywhere as long as your device is on and unlocked.

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ok google Stories December 16, 2014

How to set up Google Now to listen for ‘OK Google’ hotword from everywhere

Google Search is a powerful tool that you’ll find on almost any Android device. Its ability to start listening to your voice after you say the hotwords “OK Google” makes it convenient to use and fun to show off. Most people assume the hotword detection only works when you’re in the Google Search app or if you’re using the Google Now Launcher, but when using a device that’s on Android 4.3 or higher, you can set up Google Now to listen for the hotwords from any screen–even when the display is off on some devices…

ok google Stories November 12, 2014

Google Search Material Design

With the release of Android Lollipop for a wider lineup of Nexus devices expected to occur any day now, the official Google Search app has been updated with a brand new design and several new features that make searching for everything from the best sushi in Chicago to Van Gogh research for a school project that much better of an experience.

First and foremost, the Google Search app has been revamped with a Material Design user interface and that includes bold colors, fluid animations and simplified layouts. Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 users also benefit from being able to activate “Ok, Google” searches even when the smartphone is unplugged and the display is off.

The latest version Google’s official app is more effective at organizing your day-to-day life by automatically pulling events that it feels you might want to follow up on, like catching up with Chris over dinner or getting drinks with Susan. Normally, these small events would be buried in your inbox and you might forget to follow up on them later. expand full story

ok google Stories October 29, 2014

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Version 3.5 of the Google for Android application includes a new API that developers can take advantage of to activate “Ok Google” functionality within their own apps. According to the Android developer blog, software makers can add a few lines of code to their app to enable users to search it using a global voice command.

Once the feature has been integrated into an app (Talon, for example), users will be able to say things like “Ok Google, search for 9to5google in Talon” to trigger a search for that term within Talon.

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ok google Stories June 25, 2014

In addition to its slew of announcements at I/O earlier today, Google this evening rolled out a major update its Search app on Android. Bumping the app to version 3.5.14, the update adds several new features, but the biggest is the ability to activate a voice search from anywhere within the operating system. This feature was initially reported on back in April, but is only now making its way to the app.

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ok google Stories May 22, 2014

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Wouldn’t you like some hands-free Googling? Well, you’re in luck! The “OK Google” voice activated search feature is now available to all US Chrome desktop users with their language set to English. To get started, open a new browser tab, select the microphone icon in the search box and enable voice search. From that point on, voice activated search will be listening and will be available whenever you open a new browser tab and say the words “OK Google.” We’ve played around with it a little bit and we have to say that so far it’s been surprisingly accurate. Like all novelties, desktop voice search may run its course. If you ever need to disable this feature, go to Chrome’s Privacy settings and uncheck the box marked “Enable “Ok Google” to start a voice search.”

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ok google Stories April 25, 2014

Over the past few weeks we’ve seen rumor after rumor regarding new features for Android, as well as interface tweaks. And with Google I/O 2014 right around the corner, we don’t expect them to slow down at all. Android Police this evening published a new report detailing some more design changes coming to Android, as well as a new big feature.

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ok google Stories March 18, 2014

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: expand full story

ok google Stories February 27, 2014

Google has just promoted Chrome 34 to the beta channel, bringing with it a few new features and a lot of new apps/extension APIs for developers. Perhaps the most notable new feature for users on Mac, Windows, and Linux is hands-free Google Voice Search, allowing users to initiate a voice search on Google using the “Ok Google” command without the need of an extension:

  • Responsive Images and Unprefixed Web Audio
  • Hands-free Google Voice Search in Chrome
  • Import supervised users onto new computers
  • A number of new apps/extension APIs
  • Lots of under the hood changes for stability and performance

While users have been able to download a browser extension for Chrome since November that allows them to activate a voice search with the “Ok Google” voice command (just like on Android), it the native feature without the need of the extension will land for all Chrome users soon. Here’s how to enable it: expand full story

ok google Stories January 23, 2014

‘Ok Google’ voice search arrives as native Chromium feature without browser extension

Google’s open-source Chromium evangelist François Beaufort shared some interesting details today about new voice search integration in the latest Chromium build— Google’s open source browser project that is often used to develop and test features coming soon to its Chrome browser. While users have been able to download a browser extension for Chrome since November that allows them to activate a voice search with the “Ok Google” voice command (just like on Android), it appears Google is testing the command as a native feature without the need of the extension. Beaufort notes that the latest Chromium code shows the ability to toggle the feature through settings:

ok google Stories November 26, 2013

Google announced today on Google+ that it’s releasing a new extension for Chrome that will enable hands-free activation of the voice search features it rolled out earlier this year. Google announced the conversational voice search features for Chrome back in May and has been updating it on various platforms since, but previously users had to actually click a microphone icon to activate voice search on the desktop.

Now, like on Android 4.4 devices and within the Google Now mobile apps, using the extension users will be able to simply say “OK Google” to initiate a search: expand full story

ok google Stories November 5, 2013

Google Search iOS app gets massive update w/ ‘OK Google’ handsfree voice search, notifications, reminders, much more

The Google Search iOS app has received a huge update today that brings a number of new features including the ability to activate voice search handsfree. Users on iPhone 4S or later can now simply say “OK Google” to begin a voice search, much like what users have been able to do with Google Now on Android devices for quite some time.

Version 3.1.0 now includes notifications for upcoming events, flights and public transit. For example, the Google Search app will provide notifications for delayed flights, tell you how long you have to catch the last train, and remind you of upcoming appointments . You can also now set reminders within the app:

Ask Google to remember things for you. Just say • “Remind me to buy coffee beans at Starbucks,” or • “Remind me to check out the fair this weekend” and Google will remind you at the right time or place

In addition, Google says users can now set reminders for when their favorite musicians, tv shows, actors or celebrities are releasing new content or appear in headlines. There are also new cards in the app that display info for movie and event tickets, boarding passes, reservation confirmation for rental cars, public transit and upcoming events.

The massive update also includes a redesigned homepage, new gestures for zooming and moving images, one touch sign-in for other Google apps, and “improved voiceover accessibility”. It’s certainly a big update for the Google Search app that brings it closer to the Google Now equivalent at the heart of Android.

What’s New in Version 3.1.0

Google Now gets even better with: • Notifications – Get notified when it’s time to go • Reminders – Never forget to put out the trash • New cards – See tickets, boarding passes, & more • Handsfree voice – Just say “OK Google” to search* * requires iPhone 4s or later

Notifications deliver info before you open the app: • When to leave for your next appointment or event • If your flight is running late • How to catch the last train home

Ask Google to remember things for you. Just say • “Remind me to buy coffee beans at Starbucks,” or • “Remind me to check out the fair this weekend” and Google will remind you at the right time or place.

You can also ask to be reminded when your favorite: • Musicians release a new album • TV show has a new episode • Actors star in a new movie • Celebrities and politicians make headlines Just search and press the “remind me” button.

New cards organize the info you care about: • Tickets for movies, concerts and events • Boarding passes for your flights • Reservation confirmations for car rentals • Warnings when your last train home leaves • Lists of upcoming local events

And finally, search is better than ever with: • A redesigned and simplified homepage • Gestures to zoom or throw away images • One touch sign in if you use other Google apps • Improved voiceover accessibility

ok google Stories November 1, 2013

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Google’s low-key press announcement yesterday focused on the launch of KitKat and the Nexus 5, but didn’t offer much detail or highlight some of the hidden gems. Google has added more and more features to the Google Now assistant over the last year and with the introduction of Android 4.4, they are going even deeper with more integration. As Android head Sundar Pichai noted, Google is “bring apps and the web together.” Everyone knows what Google is best known for: search and the company is now leveraging that by beginning to look inside your apps on your Android device.

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