18
Dec
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Update 2: According to TechCrunch, and Co-Founder/CEO of natural language processing startup Robin Labs, the app is a real, functional product built on the startup's "white-label" voice assistant platform. While it was not commissioned by Yahoo!, it was created during ongoing discussions with the company. Read the full story here.

Update: According to TechCrunch, who has a source "familiar with Yahoo's internal projects," the video doesn't depict a real Yahoo! product, in progress or otherwise. At this point we can't verify absolutely whether the product is real, fake, imagined, or in progress, but even the Android Police can be tricked now and then. We'll keep you updated if we learn more.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Yahoo! had acquired SkyPhrase, a natural language processing startup. At the time, it was posited that the SkyPhrase acquisition would help Yahoo improve its existing products, understand user intentions and connect people with what they need by drawing on Yahoo's portfolio of existing web products.

We now have evidence that Yahoo! is putting their language processing powers to the test with a voice-controlled assistant app which includes predictive information, like Google Now with some of the conversational prowess of Siri. Check out the video and stills below for some of the details.

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So far, we can tell that Yahoo's assistant will be able to inform you of travel time and traffic delays, send (and edit) messages intuitively, and find you the perfect date spot on short notice.

Worth noting is that the app appears to be implemented in a similar fashion to Facebook's Chat Heads - the Y! icon appears over the home screen, and the informational bubbles appear on a translucent overlay on top of the underlying interface. This is a simple enough answer to the access-from-anywhere gesture Google has built into its own Search app.

While we don't have any further information about the app just yet, it's clear that Yahoo! is working on what could be a formidable competitor to Google's Search app. We'll keep you posted as we find out more.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • xHabeasCorpusx

    It's good to see Bane working at his new job after he failed so miserably at his last one.

    • Scott

      That's hilarious.

      • TheBlueF0x

        What he said!

    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      Hah... Cannot be unheard.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

    "Change 30 minutes to 40 minutes."

    Okay, that was kind of bad ass. Not so keen on that horrible robot voice, but it's at least enough to convince me to try it out.

    • mustbepbs

      I'm sure it'll work nothing like that and Yahoo is just lying to us.

      Then again, their weather app is pretty awesome now.

      • jonathan3579

        Their weather app is my favorite.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/pamela-hill/ Pamela Hill

          Mine too. I had completely forgotten about Yahoo until I found the weather app.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

        This video isn't even supposed to be released to the public. But yeah, Yahoo! is intentionally "lying to us."

  • TSON1

    What's a Yahoo? Is that like a VCR?

    • Frank Lopez

      No it is a chocolate drink

  • Uncle_Rico

    "now isn't that special...."

  • Rajkumar

    Dear Yahoo, Welcome to the Party!!!

  • Slawootsky

    NotHolo;DR

  • Brad

    The thing that makes google now superior is the OS integration... I doubt i'll even give this a try.

  • Andrew Thompson

    "OK Yahoo!, Show me the latest celebrity gossip"

  • http://franklinc.ca/ Franklin

    More then likely free so definitely will give it a try.

  • power_pizza

    I admire Yahoo's ambition, but the advantage of Google Now and Siri is that they're baked into the OS of their respective platforms. I don't see people downloading and using another voice assistant app on top of one that is so integrated into their phone already.

    • Leonardo Farage Freitas

      There is S-Voice also (HA!). What I mean is that I wouldn't mind downloading and trying. But then again, I wouldn't try it on a Moto X, since it wouldn't integrate as deep as google now does.. well.. guess you are right :P

    • MJ

      Maybe Yahoo! comes out with their own phone and/or tablet? Using Android but loaded with Yahoo! apps like Amazon.

  • John R. Kupel

    LMAO!! This will never be comparable to Google, there's no competition, Google's voice feature far supercedes anything that others will ever come up with, lol, like really Yahoo?? Apparently they don't have a clue lol :p

    • Leonardo Farage Freitas

      to be honest, I felt yahoo's to be more natural. But probably we shouldn't take an ad as true (or something like that, english is not my first lang)

  • Marcell Lévai

    Whaaaat o_O This is badass!

  • Pratik Holla

    They can try but its going to be hard to be able to dethrone Google Now.

  • breiner

    How much time have they been working on it? I have a friend who worked on it...

  • hyperbolic

    Good job Yahoo for (finally) stepping into the Android world.

  • Josh Haug

    And they can pull there data from Yahoo Answers... This is going to be good!

  • Matt Dowdy

    looks like they've blatantly ripped off robin assistant to me!

  • Ethan G

    Looks like Tech Crunch and the Verge are saying that it's not accurate that Yahoo is developing this particular app. They may be coming up with one of their own, just not this one. Oh well, variety is always nice, maybe later.

    http://www.theverge.com/2013/12/18/5225644/video-of-yahoos-answer-to-siri-and-google-now-is-not-a-yahoo-product

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Yep, we've updated the post with this info. We wouldn't post anything we didn't have reason to believe was accurate, but it's possible we were duped this time.

      • Ethan G

        No worries, wasn't calling anyone out. I've followed you guys for awhile and it's incredibly rare when something like this goes down. Keep up the solid work!

  • Trent Callahan

    I sense a flop coming, regardless of how good it is. Yahoo has been down on its luck /:

  • black

    I like the way she says minutes.

  • Simon Belmont

    Google Now needs that editing ability in texts. Also, the ability to read the text back without physical interaction.

    I actually really like how it does that in the video. And, yes, it really does sound like Bane (haha).

  • Joe

    seem spretty good but that voice NEEDS to change !