It's been a while since Google express first launched, but the home delivery service has shown no signs of slowing down. Hot on the heels of Walmart, Google Express is now expanding to include Target among the list of stores you can order from, after a successful test of the service in California and NYC. Even better, it works with the Google Assistant (on some devices). Now all your favorite Target brands are just a click or shout from your doorstep. Read More
Voice controls are easily one of the best things to have happened to the living room. Gone are the times when we needed separate 'clickers' for every device, and even the universal remote's days are numbered. Now you can even add Hulu on Android TV to the growing list of "yell-compatible" apps, via the Google Assistant. Read More
Back in September 2016, Google purchased Speaktoit, a company specializing in natural language technology. The company's main service at the time was API.AI, an SDK that allowed creating voice interfaces for mobile apps. Google re-purposed the tool to create Google Assistant Apps (formerly known as 'Actions on Google'). Read More
In-chat assistance is not a new concept. If you've ever used Google's Allo app, you'll know what it's all about. While in a conversation with a friend, you can call upon the Google Assistant to answer a question, bring up directions, or perform a host of other helpful tasks, all without leaving the conversation. Skype will soon be getting similar functionality, as Microsoft is bringing its Cortana assistant to the messaging app.
As well as being able to bring up web results, you'll be able to utilize Cortana's full range of abilities. These include creating reminders and scheduling calendar events. Cortana will automatically detect when you're talking about something it can help with, and contextual options will be offered just above the chat box next to the blue ring. Read More
When Google acquired British artificial intelligence startup DeepMind back in 2014 nobody was really sure why. It was a secretive company without any consumer-facing products, but it clearly had some technology of interest in Mountain View. DeepMind is now part of the wider Alphabet structure, and now a little bit more is known about what goes on there, including the work it does for Google.
One of the latest projects to come out of DeepMind is called WaveNet, a deep neural network for generating more natural artificial speech recordings, and its use case at Google is obvious. Google Assistant should sound much more human now that WaveNet has been incorporated into it. Read More
Wouldn't it be great if upon waking up you could say "Ok Google, good morning" to have your lights and coffee machine turned on while the news is read to you? Similarly, when you go to bed, it would be great if you could say "goodnight" to have your lights dimmed and your security system activated. Well, soon™ you'll be able to, thanks to new multi-step actions that can be added to everyday 'routines.' Read More
It has been slightly over a year since Google Assistant first became widely available, as part of the Google Allo messenger app. It definitely had growing pains, but fast forward to today, and it's a pretty darn good product. At Google's press event today, the company announced a handful of new Assistant features for both users and developers. Read More
An update to the Google app hit the beta channel yesterday and it brings back the Notification toggles for Assistant devices that had briefly appeared a few months ago. Also in tow are some visual tweaks and a revised list of the types of devices certain Assistant features work with. A teardown also turns up new commute settings, a few bits about getting your kids set up with Google Assistant and Home, and a pretty cool feature for the newly announced Pixel Buds. Read More
In the midst of Google's largest product announcement ever, a brand new app turned up in the Play Store with the name Google Assistant. You might be thinking that this will finally bring Assistant to Android tablets, or maybe even enable it on Chromebooks, especially since the Play Store allows installation on both types of devices. Unfortunately, it doesn't do either of these things. The app is just a shortcut to trigger Assistant on devices that already have it. Yes, it does the same thing as holding the home button. Read More
Google Lens is the machine learning-powered successor to Google Goggles, with the ability to search for whatever it can see through the camera. We've been hearing about it since Google I/O 2017, but today at the company's press event, even more details were shared about Lens. Read More