Google's speech recognition error rate is getting lower and lower - yesterday, the company said it's now under 5% and has dropped from 8.5% this time last year. And I find that to be more and more the case in my own use: Google seems to recognize almost everything I throw at it now, even when I add Lebanese/Arabic names from my contacts list that I wouldn't expect it to get right.
But if you're wondering how Google's speech recognition fares in comparison to other voice assistants, Wired has made a video in conjunction with Andy Wood and Matt Kirshen (from Probably Science) to show you just that. Read More
Last weekend, a huge turmoil swept the root-enthusiast Android community as it was discovered then confirmed that the Netflix app was being blocked from showing up in search results on the Play Store for rooted devices. At the time, Netflix said it was using Widevine to block unsupported devices, but that made no sense to us: the app was still functional if it was sideloaded, it was only not showing up as compatible in the Play Store. So what sorcery was Netflix really using?! Turns out it's a new function of the Google Play Console.
As part of the updates announced for the Play Console at I/O 2017, Google mentions a new Device Catalog section under Release management that lets developers choose with intricate granularity which devices their app supports on the Play Store. Read More
Yesterday we learned that Google Assistant is about to offer more capabilities on your phones and gain several smart and interesting features, but there's one other piece of interesting news: it's also now adding support for more smart home devices and appliances. Read More
The ability to Go Live on YouTube (not to be confused with the entirely unrelated YouTube Go) previously required that you have 1,000 subscribers, and before that the requirement was set at 10K. In a bid to compete with other services, it looks like that limit has been dropped further, all the way to zero. That's right, now everyone can Go Live on YouTube without any subscribers. The only requirements are a verified channel and no live stream restrictions in the last 90 days. Read More
One of the unique features of Google's Inbox mail application was smart replies. Inbox tries to predict what the message is about, and provides three quick replies. I'll admit, I don't use it much, but it's pretty nice if you're quickly exchanging messages. Read More
Animations in apps can often be jerky or unrealistic, but in Android O Google plans to give developers tools to make animations buttery smooth and natural with the power of physics. It should also be much simpler to make animations with this system. Read More
Alright folks, I have once again found a beta APK to sideload in order to give y'all the scoop of what to expect from an upcoming release. Today I am taking a look at TinyCo's Futurama Worlds of Tomorrow. From a cursory glance it is eerily similar to another one of the developers games, Family Guy The Quest for Stuff. But the similarities do not stop there. The Family Guy game is actually just a clone of Electronic Arts's The Simpsons: Tapped Out. Clones of clones, what better way to earn money than with someone else's tried and true method. Read More
MediaTek has just announced a new chipset for two of Google's favorite recent projects: Google Assistant and Android Things. The descriptively named MT8516 is a 64 bit ARM platform that includes wireless radios, designed specifically for voice assistants applications. It looks like Google has one more hardware partner behind Intel and Qualcomm for their future IoT plans. Read More
The I/O news is starting to turn to developer-centric topics, and one of the more significant things to come out of the keynote is an official declaration that Google is now officially supporting Kotlin as a first-class language for developing Android apps. Starting with Android Studio 3.0, Kotlin is included out-of-the-box, so there are no additional setup steps or add-ons to install. Read More
One of the more annoying aspects of owning a smartphone on a not fully-updated version of Android can be emoji. Not how they look, but which ones your device supports. If you're running an older OS version, you probably don't have the latest Unicode revision of the emoji character library, and that can lead to the infamous blank square issue.
With Android O, Google is going to solve this problem, even if in a less-than-ideal way. Read More