S-Voice Stories September 18, 2013

AT&T announced today that it will begin selling the Samsung Galaxy S III mini, which was first released in November of last year, as a smaller entry level version of Samsung’s flagship at the time, the Galaxy S III. It might be a last generation device– Samsung unveiled the S4 mini at its event back in June— but that’s why AT&T will sell it for 99 cents on contract when it becomes available on September 27.

As a reminder, the S III mini includes a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, comes with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, and packs in a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 5 megapixel main camera. You’ll also of course get Samsung’s TouchWiz UI on top of with S Beam, S Voice, Group Play, and other Samsung goodies.

AT&T will kick off preorders for the Galaxy S III mini starting tomorrow. expand full story

S-Voice Stories May 20, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE on T-Mobile launching June 5, Android 4.2.2 update coming soon

Samsung is still in the midst of a recording breaking launch with its Galaxy S4 smartphone, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t life left in its predecessor.

Samsung plans to bring many of the features of the Galaxy S4 to the Galaxy S3, according to a leaked version of Android 4.2.2 obtained by SamMobile, like new voice controls with S Voice, an enhanced lock screen experience, and additional screen modes.

Some features understandably can’t be ported to the older hardware, but its good to see Samsung delivering on its promise to update its second best selling smartphone. Android 4.2.2 is expected next month.

Software isn’t the only update coming to the Galaxy S3, which first debuted in May 2012. TmoNews reports that the Samsung Galaxy S3 will ship with LTE support on T-Mobile starting June 5. Pricing isn’t available for the updated hardware, but the Galaxy S3 LTE goes for $99 on-contract with AT&T or free on-contract with Sprint.

Finally, after months of waiting and a teaser last week that it was on the way, we’ve nailed down a release date on the Galaxy S III LTE. Assuming everything goes well and there’s no hiccups or delays , the Galaxy S III LTE should make its way on to T-Mobile shelves on June 5th. The new model will allow T-Mobile to remove supply of the current S III and replace it with the LTE variant.

S-Voice Stories May 8, 2013

What does Samsung’s S-Voice assistant think of Siri?

Despite having access to a pretty powerful voice-enabled, predictive search engine with Google Now, Samsung is still pushing ahead with its own ‘S Voice’ app to try and provide a unique Siri-like experience on its devices. We’ve seen many comparisons of how Samsung might have borrowed from Apple for its own voice-controlled assistant, but today a post from AndroidCentral got us curious about how S Voice reacts when asked about Siri.

The screenshot we grabbed above speaks for itself with the Galaxy S4 returning snappy answers when asked about the iPhone and Siri. When asked, “Have you ever used an iPhone?,” S Voice responded, simply, “No, I have standards.” Another question, “Are you Siri?,” returns the answer, “I think that I am, but I’m a little biased.”

Results appear to vary for users, but it’s certainly an easter egg that Samsung has intentionally included in the app at some point. Siri isn’t free of its own clever responses with users finding several easter eggs and controversial remarks since the app first launched on iPhone 4S. Asking Siri about Samsung or its devices, however, usually just provides a vague response or directs users to Apple’s website or the web.

Some answers Siri gives are amusing, such as responding to marriage questions with “My End User License Agreement does not cover marriage”. People are more amused by the silly stuff, like when you say “call me an ambulance” and she responds by acknowledging “From now on, I’ll call you ‘an ambulance’”.

S-Voice Stories May 21, 2012

Shortly after the new Siri-like voice assistant feature of Samsung’s new Galaxy S III, known as “S-Voice,” made its way to other Android devices via an available APK, reports claimed Samsung began to block non-S III users from accessing the service. XDA Developer community members confirmed (via TNW) that Vlingo, the company behind the voice recognition technology used in S-Voice, is now blocking users from trying to access its servers with devices other than the S III.

In December of last year, Nuance, the company currently powering speech in Apple’s Siri app on the iPhone 4S, acquired Vlingo. Samsung previously collaborated with Vlingo for the Voice Commander feature for the Galaxy S II. We expect Nuance has improved Vlingo since the acquisition, while Apple’s relationship with Nuance is not stopping Samsung from using the Vlingo technology. In an interview in October, Norman Winarsky, co-founder of Siri, told us Vlingo was originally used in Siri when it first developed, but noted it is rather easy for apps like Siri to implement new speech recognition technology if it comes along.

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

S-Voice Stories May 3, 2012

Galaxy S III debuts Siri-like function ‘S-Voice’

Samsung just unveiled the Galaxy S III in London, and the new smartphone boasted a ton of new features, such as “S-Voice.” The built-in feature is Samsung’s equivalent of Siri, but it does much more than Apple’s offering. It manages certain functions and is customizable with up to four wake-up commands. For example, set it to respond with the phrase “Wake up,” and it will automatically unlock the smartphone’s screen. The voice-control tech is also integrated with applications, such as the camera app. Just say, “Hi! Galaxy, picture,” and then say “Cheese.” Walah!—The picture is captured.  Oh, and S-Voice can even control music.

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