Microsoft is finally getting around to developing a personal assistant for Windows Phone users, as they ready a Windows Phone 8.1 update that is said to feature Cortana. As for the name Cortana, she is an AI character featured in the Halo video game series, personified by the above-pictured girl. (more…)
In what could be labeled as this year’s biggest non shocker, Apple is claiming that Samsung is violating Siri patents with Mountain View’s Google Now software. U.S. patents 8,086,604 and 6,846,959 cover technology related to Siri, a “universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system.” (more…)
Our inbox indicates that many of you are aware that Google released Google Now to iOS this morning. This comes as no surprise, nor does it interest us one bit. Good for iOS users. Welcome to the fun that is Google Now! Well, sort of. The Google Now for iOS will never be as powerful as the version on Android because Apple won’t allow it to be.
For now though, you can open up the iOS Google Search app and find some cards for flights or restaurants or routes home from work and even track packages and flight info from Gmail. But from what we can tell, it may not be able to update in the background at full capacity like the Android version does, which means no ongoing notifications for card updates. You’ll have to consciously open up the app to get Now goodies rather than have it dictate your life for you. You also can’t access Google Now through a shortcut like swiping up or long-pressing navigation buttons. You’ll have to open the Search app and then swipe up the Now cards to view them.
It’s really just an add-on to Google Search, not really the semi-stand-alone, ultra-powerful service that it is on Android. Well, until Google makes it that way – take the iOS Gmail app for example.
But again, enjoy, iOS users.
Google Now is great at putting certain pieces of information in front of you before you realize you need it. A traffic report for your drive home is there just before you leave work. You’re notified about a package’s location after you’re emailed about it. Recent searches appear to remind you about your bad decision to try and understand what happened in the Clone Saga.
Google wants to continue to empower our cell phones and turn them into truly useful person assistants. I believe Google Now is the best way to do that, but I also believe Google Now needs to get a lot better. In particular, Now needs improve its use of contextual information, have more of a personality, and display information better. (more…)
Making the rounds today is an interesting story, given that it could have greatly affected the way we think about our smartphones and the competitors in the smartphone race. In 2009, before the Siri startup was purchased by Apple, Verizon made their own bid in an effort to have the software installed on every DROID-branded device they sold. Verizon was so far into the deal that even commercials were filmed to tout DROID’s newest halo feature. (more…)
Utter!, a voice actions Android app that we covered months ago, went into beta today, and then entered the Google Play store. While we normally roll our eyes at the never-ending string of Siri knock-off style apps that have come to our favorite mobile platform, Utter! is quite different. It’s creator had one focus – to make Utter! “super functional and fast.” (more…)
Google’s Voice Search is batting 1.000 against Apple’s Siri in a new video of the two going head to head. While I still think it’s unreasonable to compare the two (one is just simply more advanced), it is fun to watch others have fun with Google’s new Voice Search and get a laugh at Siri’s expense. (more…)
At the Google I/O keynote from day 1 (watch it here at the 20:00 minute mark), the Android team took the wraps off a new product called Google Now that was powered by a new version of Voice Search (our hands-on). During the demo of it, we were all impressed by the beautiful new UI, answer cards with relevant info, and accuracy. To call this a giant step forward in voice searching, might even be an understatement.
Naturally, people were quick to compare this to Apple’s Siri since it gets all of the play these days in the voice search category. We argued that Siri isn’t even on the same level since Google Now actually predicts your life rather than forcing you to ask things of it all of the time, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t interested in a good battle between the two. So speaking of battles, who wants to see one? (more…)