Videos: Comparing Cortana & Siri & Google Now

cortana-600px Today, Microsoft released the developer preview of Windows Phone 8.1 and with that, the ability to play with a preview of Cortana, Microsoft's answer to Apple Siri and Google Now. Both Gizmodo and CNet have released video demos comparing Cortana & Siri & Google Now. I like the Gizmodo comparison a little more, so we will post that first followed by the CNet review. Gizmodo has not made their video embeddable, so you need to view it on Gizmodo.com. Here is the CNet video: [...]


Google Now Comes To Chrome For Desktops & Laptops

Google Now for Desktop Google's amazing predictive search tool, Google Now, is finally being made available to people on desktop and laptop computers using the regular release of its Chrome browser. Until now, it had only been available through mobile devices or to those using beta versions of Chrome. Google shared the news via its Google Chrome account on Twitter today: Rolling out today, @Google Now cards will be available to signed-in Chrome users on desktop or laptop computers: http://t.co/6zBf6ky0je — Google Chrome (@googlechrome) March 24, 2014 It also shared through Google+:   G [...]


Expect Labs Offers Free API: Google Now In A Box

Expect Labs Expect Labs, which is behind the MindMeld consumer application, has announced a new developer API. The new API brings the company's "anticipatory computing" platform to third parties in the cloud. Use of the API is free. Expect Labs is trying to get it "out there" and see how developers deploy the company's technology on their applications. As a practical matter what Expect Labs is offering could be likened to "Google Now in a Box." Developers and publishers will thus be able offer predictive or contextual search and more sophisticated recommendations and content discovery to users. [...]


Google Now Adds Google Now “Launcher,” Video On Demand Providers, Airbnb Reservations & More

google-now-launcher Engadget reports Google has quietly rolled out several enhancements to Google search app for Android, bolstering Google Now features on the Nexus 5 and some other devices. Here are the changes that were labeled "bug fixes and performance improvements" in the Google Play store for the app. The most noticeable change is that the Nexus 5 home screen has now been renamed the "Google Now Launcher." Select your TV providers and/or video on demand providers and Google Now will give you recommendations on what to watch. Airbnb reservations also now display in Google Now. Also the alarms and n [...]


DeepMind Buy Another Google “Moonshot” Of Sorts

DeepMind logo Re/code offers some additional insight into the $400+ million acquisition of artificial intelligence (AI) startup DeepMind that was reported last week. The people at DeepMind will apparently work with the search team at Google but not exclusively: Or as search is known at Google today, the “Knowledge” group, so-called because it no longer just finds keywords on web pages, but instead connects larger concepts. Knowledge is led by Google SVP Alan Eustance, but DeepMind will work closely with a team led by Jeff Dean, a near 15-year Google veteran, best known for his work on distributed syst [...]


Analyst Gives Both Google Now And Siri A “C+”

Siri logo Piper Jaffray financial analyst Gene Munster performed his now annual comparison of Google Voice Search/Google Now and Siri to determine which one performed better. Using 800 queries under a variety of "controlled" and "uncontrolled" conditions, Munster and his team tested and compared the two "assistants." Munster gave Google Voice Search/Now a C+, an improvement from the D- it received a year ago. Siri received the identical C+ grade, up slightly from a C last year. It may well be that Google Voice Search/Now and Siri have achieved some level of parity in their ability to understand a [...]


Google Now Adds TV, Movies, News Topics, Blog Posts, Waze Data, In Store Pick Up Reminders & More

google-now-featured Google announced improvements to Google Now for Android users. The new update brings more Google Now cards to Android users including: Website update card can bring you things like the latest post so you’ll never miss a story. News topic card brings you fresh articles from the web on topics you care about. What to watch card gives you Movie and TV recommendations when you’re staying in. Traffic with Waze card where you can see traffic incidents on your commute using real-time data from Waze Reminders update where you can set repeat reminders Rugby scores to get real time scores fo [...]


Nexus 5 First Impressions: A Great, Search-Centric Smartphone

Google Nexus 5 Google shipped out demo versions of the Nexus 5 late last week. People are still receiving them today. I got one on Friday and have been using it on WiFi ever since. (I haven't tried it on a wireless network and can't speak to the LTE experience.) The phone immediately sold out of its initial supply online. Both the 16GB and 32GB versions now require a wait time of at least 3 - 4 weeks (4 - 5 weeks in the case of the 16GB version). This won't be a comprehensive Nexus 5 handset review or a complete review of Android 4.4 "KitKat." If you're looking for complete rundowns on the handset or i [...]


Google Now Cards Invade The New Google Maps

Google sure does love its new card-based information display. They're the primary display for Google Now information. They're part of Google's new unified design on mobile devices. They're how all information is displayed on Google Glass. They've been spotted in the wild displaying Google News results, too. And now they're part of the new (still in beta) Google Maps experience -- one of several updates announced today. Google says it's in the process of adding cards for personal travel -- flight, hotel and restaurant reservations -- right inside Google Maps. The cards will show up if [...]


Google Now Gains Car Rental, Concert Tickets, Reminders While You Search & More

google-now-featured More cards have come to Google's predictive search service, Google Now, including information to alert you to your car rentals, concert tickets and a way to set reminders related to TV shows, book releases and more, when you are searching. Car Rentals Google posted the news to its Android page on Google+, since these are only updates for the Android version of Google Now. Google explained that car rental reservations will now show up, similar to this example: Concert Tickets If you have a concert ticket in your Gmail, Google Now will detect that and display it if you are near the venue [...]


Google Brings More “Now” To Search With New Quick Answers

google-now-card-featured Google is bringing more of the capabilities of Google Now to the search box and providing a range of personalized "quick answers" regardless of platform. These new search capabilities focus on "travel and logistics" use cases: reservations, flights, package tracking and calendar entries, among a few others. The content and capabilities will likely expand over time. Google's general objective is to make it easy to get information quickly without having to shift through email or drill down into other Google apps. Google Now has been delivering much of this information to mobile users for s [...]


Google Scientist: We Want To Be Able To Respond To A Query Like “Book Me A Trip To Washington, DC”

google-data-knowledge-brain-featured Will the day come that Google can successfully respond when you tell it something like, "Book me a trip to Washington, DC" -- walking you through all the queries and answers needed to complete such a complex request? Will the day come when we're using devices that only offer voice-based search? Will the day come when visual search happens continuously via the camera on Google Glass? Those are some of the search-based challenges that Google is working on, and they're discussed in a recent interview that offers a peek at what Google thinks search will be like in the next decade. Or mayb [...]


Google Reportedly Testing Local News Card For Google Now

google-now-featured Google is reportedly testing a local news "card" for its Google Now predictive search product. Quartz first reported on the project, and says it's currently only being tested internally by Google employees. The revelation came from an interview last week that Quartz did with Google VP Johanna Wright: "One thing we're testing right now is a very local hyper-local news card," says Wright. "Which is really useful—it teaches me things about my neighborhood. For example, I found out Miss Mexico came to my son's school, I saw that [the local] Chipotle was giving out burritos, and someone was [...]


Google’s Impressive “Conversational Search” Goes Live On Chrome

google-conversational-search-featured The "conversational search" that Google demonstrated at last week's Google I/O conference is now available to users of its Chrome browser, and it's a significant leap in how we use search engines. I'm 17 years now into writing about search, and I've seen all types of things that have promised to revolutionize the space, especially products that trot out words like "natural language" and "semantic search" but fail to deliver. Conversational search has natural language, semantic search and more built into it, and while it's far from perfect, this really is one of those significant change [...]


New Google Now Cards Include Voice-Activated Reminders

google-now-featured Six shiny new cards are coming for Google Now, the assistive app for Android and recently, iOS devices, that offers predictive information tailored to your needs.  The new cards, announced at Google I/O today, are for reminders, music, TV shows, public transit, books and video games. Photo credit: Danny Sullivan Reminders is an interactive feature that can be set using voice commands.  Johanna Wright, VP of Search and Assist, gave a live demonstration of a Google Now "Voice Action Reminder". Using simple voice commands, users can set reminders that then show up and activate in the [...]


“OK Google” — Hands-Free, Conversational Search Coming From Google

OK Google Google has allowed you to speak your search to it on the desktop and mobile devices for some time, but now it's going to get smarter -- talking back to you and continuing the conversation you started. Google shared details at its Google I/O 2013 developer event today and also in a blog post that's gone up. The idea is that your devices --  smartphone or desktop -- will apparently be constantly listening for the "OK Google" command. If you say that, then it knows you want to do a search. That command is already used as part of Google Glass in a similar way ("OK Glass") -- and onl [...]


Google Search App With Google Now Breaks Into iTunes Top 10

Google mobile app logo When Google first released its updated Google Search app last October, it never made the iTunes top ten and, last week, wasn't even in the top 100. But the addition of Google Now helped the app make the top ten in less than a week. Google relaunched its app last October with Siri-like voice recognition and readback, but after peaking at number 16, it started dropping down to around the 150 mark last Sunday. With Google Now being added, the app has risen up to number 10 in the most recently downloaded free apps list. Coincidentally, it also just got named the 10th most downlaoded free app [...]


Samsung, Intel Invest In “Anticipatory Search” Startup Expect Labs

Expect Labs Expect Labs, which is a small startup in the San Francisco Bay Area, has a very impressive list of investors. Today the company announced a new funding round, though the figures weren't disclosed. Investors are the venture or investment arms of Intel, Samsung and Telefonica. Telefonica is the world's fourth largest telco and owns mobile operator O2 in the UK. Previous investors included Google, Greylock, Bessemer, IDG Ventures, KPG Ventures, Quest Venture Partners. The company has one product called MindMeld. It's sort of a (video) chat app but really more of a technology demonstration.  [...]


Potential iOS Market For Google Now Is 2.5X Larger Than Android “Now” Base

Google Now for iOS Image 2 Google Now for iOS and Android are almost identical in their look at feel. And aside from a few "cards," the same is true of their content. But, there are some differences behind the scenes worth noting: one of them is the fact that with its launch on iOS this morning, Google Now is available to roughly 2.5 times more people than it is on Android. Google Now for Android is only available on those devices that feature Jelly Bean 4.1 or 4.2 (4.3 is apparently coming). What that means as a practical matter is that fewer than 200 million people out of more than 750 million Android devices activ [...]


iPhone & iPad Users To Get Google Now, As It Comes To iOS

Google Now for iOS Image 1 Previously Android-only, Google's "predictive search" tool Google Now is now available for the iPhone and iPad. It's part of an updated Google Search App for iOS. Google Now for iOS had been anticipated since March, when Engadget discovered a promotional video suggesting it would make the leap. Until its release this morning, Google Now had been available exclusively on devices running Android 4.1 ("Jelly Bean") or higher. We've written multiple times about Google Now in the past. But, if for some reason you're unfamiliar with it, Google Now is the company's "search assistant," of [...]


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