The video above is currently making the Interwebz rounds this morning, showing a tenacious gentleman who has programmed his home’s tech and lighting to be completely controlled by his voice. Using apps like Tasker for his Google TV and VeraLite controllers for the lighting, he is able to set the mood in his living room with a single phrase. Trust me, you need to watch this. (more…)
A major Google Search update just hit the Google Play store for devices running Android 4.1+ (Jelly Bean). The update introduces a handful of new cards for Google Now along with some new voice actions. You will now see Now cards for events happening nearby, suggestions to help with research, boarding passes (United only for now), weather for upcoming travel destinations, and more. On the voice actions side of things, you can tell your phone to post to Google+, ask what song is playing, and have your phone to scan a barcode.
Go grab it! (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…)
Once running under the codename “Majel,” Google has reportedly settled on an official name for their Siri-like competitor. That name is Assistant. Most of the dirty details surrounding this service are a mystery, however, TechCrunch believes it to be more of a “Do Engine” that would help you achieve real-life goals rather than something that will simply return search results.
According to their sources, the Android team has taken this project on with search engineer Amit Singhal to attempt to gather the world’s knowledge into a format that a computer can understand. They also want to make the service adhere to your personal life more, potentially using services like Google+ and +1 to help understand how people interact socially.
Unlike Siri though, Google will provide developers with the opportunity to tie in their products to Assistant, a move that could make the service unlike any other. Siri will always be bound to Apple’s vision, while Assistant could grow thanks to outside influences and innovators.
Google big wigs are look at a Q4 2012 unveiling of the product. While that seems so far off in the distance, remember that Google I/O with an additional 3rd day is happening in June. If Assistant is indeed launching this year, you have to imagine that we will see some sort of preview during that week. Also, Q4 is when we will likely see Jelly Bean or Android 5.0.
According to our pals over at Android and Me, Google has spent much of the year putting in work on a newly revamped Voice Actions software, which they have codenamed Majel. You could consider this their answer to Apple’s Siri and will go far beyond what the current crop of Android Voice Actions can accomplish. The limits of specific commands (navigate to, listen to, etc.) will soon be gone and the times of speaking in natural language may be upon us.
Confused by the codename? The word Majel comes from the name of the woman who acted as the voice of the Federation Computer on Star Trek for years. And it just so happens that Matias Duarte (the ICS architect) mentioned Star Trek back in October around the time that Android 4.0 was unveiled. He was quoted as saying that their approach to voice actions “is more like Star Trek, right, starship Enterprise; every piece of computing surface, everything is voice-aware. It’s not that there’s a personality, it doesn’t have a name, it’s just Computer.” Fitting.
It’s anyone’s guess as to when we might see this new voice activated software, but there is a chance it could be out within the next couple of months. If Google wants to step into the voice actions game in a real way, it would be in their best interest to not wait around while Apple works to take Siri out of beta.
Is everyone ready to start talking to your phone like it’s your best friend?
Via: Android and Me
With the announcement of the iPhone 4S and its Siri voice-integration followed by a couple of rumors that Google with introduce a similar service with Ice Cream Sandwich, we got to wondering how many people are actually interested in this type of software. Android has had Voice Actions for over a year now, but there have been other more advanced options on the market for just as long that don’t seem to get all that much love. With the unveiling of Siri, it seems like now this is the new cool thing because, well, Apple announced it. I personally have used Voice Actions or speech-to-text only when reviewing a service that has them and never in a real life situation other than to show it off as a cool feature to friends or family. I sort of get the feeling that I’m the minority.
Do I need to get with the times? Are highly-advanced voice-integrated services and apps the way of the future? Or are they the next gimmick like 3D on smartphones? Do we really have to watch the world walk around our streets talking to their phones as if they were a personal assistant? Maybe.
When Apple announced that Siri was going to be baked right into their OS, then showed off how it worked and how smart it seemed, I was a bit jelly. We luckily have some great Android apps that act in just the same way for us on our devices. Speaktoit is a free personal assistant which can be found right on the Android Market and the app does basically all the things you might want it to. Update your Facebook status, look up directions and many many other things. You can choose an avatar with whom you speak with. It’s actually quite the neat little app. (more…)
To our mates from across the pond, we would like to welcome you into the wonderful world of Google Voice Actions. Released today to the Android Market in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain, the updated Google Search app makes hands-free searching, calling, and navigating a breeze.
To our friends here in the states, just watch the video and see if you don’t find yourself talking with a British accent for the next 5 minutes.
Via: Google Mobile