Can We Get a Better Digital Assistant Without Violating Our Privacy? [Opinion]

AI, or artificial intelligence, is an old idea, but it’s still probably the most important technological leap that we’ve yet to make. We’ve been inching closer with things like Google Now, Siri, and Cortana, but we are still so far away. As we inch closer, though, there’s an implementation battle happening. The question we have been asking for the past few years is whether Google will get better at design faster than Apple will get better at web services. I think the new question we need to wrestle with is, can Apple make better apps and services without violating our privacy faster than Google can do so by hoarding all of our information and possibly violating our privacy?
(more…)

Chrome’s Touch to Search is Awesome, But No, It Isn’t Google Now on Tap

Just over a week ago, Chrome for Android received an update to version 43.0.2357.78 that included a feature called Touch to Search. If you have used the Chrome Beta within the last several months, you know exactly what this feature is. If you haven’t, well, you have probably emailed us within the last couple of days thinking that Chrome is now capable of doing the recently announced Google Now on Tap magic that was introduced at Google I/O. We get why you would think that, because Touch to Search is quite awesome, but no, it’s not exactly Now on Tap.

Still, let’s talk about!  (more…)

Google Now on Tap Brings Smart Multi-Tasking to Android M

Part of Android M is a major enhancement to Google Now, Google’s smart-as-hell automated assistant service, called Now on Tap. With Google Now on Tap, the new piece to the Now puzzle, you can get Google Now help from almost anywhere with a simple long press of your phone’s home button, allowing you to multi-task from any screen without having to leave what you are currently doing.  (more…)

Google Gives 70 New Apps Access to Google Now

Back in January, Google announced that it was allowing 3rd party apps to work with Google Now for the first time; 40 of them to be exact. This was huge news because it meant that your favorite non-Google apps could start to give you relevant, perfectly timed information in your Google Now stream just as you need it, in the way that Google attempts to do with transit info, the weather, and your travel plans. Today, they expanded the program by allowing another 70 new partners to get in on the fun.  (more…)

New Google Photo Stories Showing Up in Google Now

Folks who utilize Google Photo’s auto backup will begin to see new Stories pop up directly through Google Now. To explain, if you take enough photos at any given time, Google will throw those photos into a Story, then put music and effects to it. Moving forward, these Stories will appear in Google Now for easy access, where as before, you would receive a notification through the Google Photos app.  (more…)

You Can Finally “Send a Hangouts Message” With Your Voice in Google Now

That title isn’t clickbait. I’m not even kidding with this one. You can say “send a Hangouts message” in Google Now, with your voice, and it will actually send a message in Hangouts with your voice. I don’t know when this went live, but it’s live. It will ask who you want to send it to, then what your message is, before confirming that you want to send. We aren’t talking SMS here – this is legitimate Hangouts messaging with your voice.

You still think I’m joking, I know. I get why you would think that I’m joking. Seriously, though, go try it.

You can finally send a Hangouts message with your voice in Google Now.  (more…)