voice search Stories May 11, 2016

echo

Back in March, The Information reported that Google is working on an Amazon Echo competitor. Today, Recode has confirmed such a device and added that we might get a peak of it at Google I/O. While it won’t launch next week, the conference will reportedly have a big focus on voice search and personal assistants.

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voice search Stories September 28, 2015

google-voice-search

Earlier this year, a release of Google’s app for Android hinted at future ability to use voice search and commands without an internet connection. Offline voice commands could be used for a number of functions, and are now already be up and running for some Android users with the latest Google app installed…

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voice search Stories June 29, 2015

Ok-Google-Voice-Search

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

voice search Stories June 22, 2015

Ok-Google-Voice-Search

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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voice search Stories June 10, 2015

Quietly, Google introduced some new location-aware search functions in voice search over the last couple of weeks. The feature lets you perform several searches based on your location, with Google looking at its Maps data to figure out what you’re talking about. For example, you can voice search “how tall is this?” and looking at your location, Google can tell you the height of the building that you’re looking at. expand full story

voice search Stories June 3, 2015

ef8bc5befd77e5cbddd719e14f3e2db3Hound-SoundHound-Inc-Web2-1500x750

SoundHound’s first app is known as one of the best offerings when it comes to recognizing sounds. You could hum a song and the app could, fairly reliably, tell you which one you were humming. Now, the same company has released a new app, called Hound, which attempts to usurp the Google Now throne with some really impressive voice assistant technology… expand full story

voice search Stories October 14, 2014

Voice-Search

Teenagers talk on the phone a lot, but you know what else they do? Talk to their phones. Google published a study today looking at that voice search habits of American smartphone users and to no one’s surprise, teens use the feature more than adults. According to Mountain View’s findings 55 percent of teens ranging from 13 to 18 years old use voice search every day.

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voice search Stories July 25, 2014

Chrome-voice-search-01

Google is working on a new feature for its voice search that will allow the software to understand multiple languages at a time. Currently, the company’s voice search only listens to your default language settings for your Google profile. This can be changed within your account’s settings, but Mountain View is trying to make things easier for multilingual individuals.

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voice search 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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voice search 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

voice search 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:

voice search 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

voice search 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

voice search Stories July 17, 2013

Chrome for iOS adds support for opening links in Google apps, voice & text-to-speech enhancements, fullscreen iPad, & data cost savings

Google has just issued a big update to its Chrome app for iPhone and iPad that brings new “interoperability with other Google Apps” and a number of other notable features. That means that you’ll now be able to open all links for YouTube, Maps, Google+ and Drive in their native apps instead of in the browser.

The update also brings enhancements to the newly introduced voice search capabilities, including: always visible controls from the toolbar and text-to-speech support for “all variations of English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, Japanese, and Korean.”

Other improvements in today’s update include fullscreen support on iPad, easier access to browser history, and, according to Google, data cost savings:

Reduce data usage and speed up page load times.  View data savings in Bandwidth Management settings. This feature is being rolled out and will be available to all users over time.

Google explained the experimental data cost savings feature in a whitepaper when it was first introduced on Android. Google said its tests showed the feature will reduce data usage by up to 50%:

voice search Stories May 22, 2013

During its Google I/O keynote earlier this month, Google announced that it would be bringing conversational, Google-Now like voice search to the desktop. Using a UI similar to voice search and Google Now in its mobile apps, Google would soon allow Chrome users to search and drill down further into results using only their voice.

Today, Google appears to have finally started rolling out the feature for Chrome users on the stable and beta channels of Chrome.

Chrome-voice-search-02After updating to the latest version 27.0.1453.93 of Chrome, users can navigate to Google.com, click the microphone icon, and choose to allow the new Google Voice search feature to begin listening. Google will only ask for permission to listen once and from then on users can simply speak in order to search. For certain search results such as questions Google will also provide audible results.

Not all of the functionality seems to be available as of yet. For example, when Google first showed off the feature users weren’t required to click at all. Google execs were activating the feature by simply saying “Ok, Google” and were able to continue searching with their voice, hands-free, from on the search results page. The feature as it’s currently implemented now requires users to click the mic icon in order to start a voice search. expand full story

voice search 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’”.

voice search Stories May 7, 2013

Last month we saw hints that Google Now could be coming to the web, and now it looks like we could see deeper integration than we thought.

François Beaufort points us to Notification Center pop-ups being developed in a recent Chromium build, much like the Gmail notifications offered by its web app.

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voice search Stories April 22, 2013

via phandroid.com

via phandroid.com

Google appears to be readying a Google Now web interface for the company’s Siri-like voice search with Google’s homepage as the intended destination.

It’s no surprise that Google would bring its voice search to the web, as it already offers the service on Android and plans to bring it to iOS (Google Search for iOS currently offers real-time voice search but doesn’t support Google Now cards), and tends to have a cross-platform approach to its services as opposed to Apple’s ownership approach to its services.

Sure, Apple does have limited iCloud functionality on Microsoft’s Windows operating system and allows users to manage iCloud from a nicely designed web interface, but Apple only offers Siri on the iPhone 4S and 5, as well as the iPad mini, iPad 3 and 4, and latest iPod touch, though the upcoming release of OS X 10.9 could bring Siri to the Mac just in time to compete with Google Now on the web.

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voice search Stories November 14, 2012

Yesterday, we told you about the updated YouTube apps for Google TV and Android that bring a new synced experience, but today Google announced two other big new features for Google TV: Voice Search and PrimeTime.

On the Official Google TV blog, Google walked us through the new features that will roll out to LG devices first starting this week. The most notable new feature is the addition of voice search, allowing users to not only perform Google searches with their voice, but also open apps, press play on a YouTube video, or speak a command, such as “CNN”, to navigate directly to a channel.

Google also explained that questions, such as “how to tie a bow tie,” would bring up instructional videos on YouTube. Part of the new voice search experience is a new visual search results page:

Try “search movies with Jeff Bridges” and see results in our new, more visual search results page.

Google is also introducing a new app called “PrimeTime” in the update that is essentially a rebranding of the old TV & Movies app it added last year: expand full story

voice search Stories August 17, 2012

Google’s Voice Search adds 13 new languages

Google’s Voice Search is now available in 42 languages in 46 countries.

The search giant added 13 new languages to its app; so over 100 million worldwide speakers can now use Voice Search. The new languages include, according to the official Google blog, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, European Portuguese, Finnish, Galician, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, and Swedish.

“Each new language usually requires that we initially collect hundreds of thousands of utterances from volunteers and, although we’ve been working on speech recognition for several years, adding these new languages led our engineers and scientists to tackle some unique challenges,” explained Product Manager Bertrand Damiba in Google’s post.

This update is rolling out over the next week. Those with an Android 2.2 or later device can use Voice Search by way of a microphone icon on the Google Search widget from the homescreen. Otherwise, a user must install the Voice Search app from Google Play.

voice search Stories June 14, 2011

Voice Search from mobile is now available on your desktop on google.com in English. From the official Google blog:

We first offered speech recognition on mobile search, but you should have that power no matter where you are. You should never have to stop and ask yourself, “Can I speak for this?”—it should be ubiquitous and intuitive. So we’ve added speech recognition into search on desktop for Chrome users. If you’re using Chrome, you’ll start to see a little microphone in every Google search box. Simply click the microphone, and you can speak your search.

And why does Voice Search matter? Well, it’s for showing off, that’s for sure, but you may find it useful for hard-to-spell searches or complex ones that you can speak aloud faster than type. After all, we first learn to talk before we learn how to type, right?

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