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Articles Tagged:

hands free

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Android Pay v1.22 prepares Visual ID facial recognition based on Hands Free and reveals testing for Brazil, Trinidad & Tobago, and Canada [APK Teardown]

Android Pay may not have had a massive launch, or has been as aggressively rolled out as Samsung Pay, but it is steadily setting up shop in more countries around the globe. If you don't happen to find yourself in one of the dozen countries that have either already seen a launch or at least have an official promise of one coming soon, you might be interested to know that Google has at least set its sights on a few other countries. Text in the latest update of the Android Pay app hints at four previously unannounced markets. There are also obvious signs Google is merging the recently closed Hands Free experiment into Android Pay and expanding it significantly.

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Google is shutting down the Hands Free pilot test on February 8

Ever since March of last year, Google has been testing a new payment method called Hands Free. The premise was that you could pay for goods with your smartphone without ever having to remove it from your pocket. The pilot was limited to the Bay Area and to only a few businesses. But now, the experiment has hit its end of life for the time being.

As of February 8, Hands Free will shut down.

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SoundHound Update Brings 'OK Hound' Voice Commands For Hands-Free Operation

The music discovery app SoundHound has introduced its own voice control feature, which is triggered by "OK Hound." This means SoundHound can be used hands-free in the car or at a party when a cool song comes on and you want to impress your friends with your music knowledge. However, it only works when the device is awake and SoundHound is open.

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Google Launches Hands Free Payment Pilot Program In San Francisco's South Bay

Google long ago teased Hands Free, a way to make mobile payments without even having to reach for your phone. Now it's launching a pilot program in the southern San Francisco Bay Area.

Hands Free uses Bluetooth low energy, Wi-Fi, and location services to communicate with cash registers inside participating stores. Right now those partners are McDonald's, Papa John's, and some local restaurants.

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Kinivo BTC455 Hands-Free Bluetooth Car Kit Review: A Tangled Mess Of A Good Idea

Not too long ago, I took a look at the Griffin iTrip AUX Bluetooth dongle. It was a solid product that delivered on its goal of allowing people to connect over Bluetooth in cars that don't have the functionality built-in. But at $49.99, it's a little on the pricey side. For that cost, you can get a Kinivo BTC455 that not only delivers the same capability, it supports two devices at once, hands-free calls, and controlling music playback. Frankly, it's more bang for buck.

That said, after trying out the Kinivo BTC455, I occasionally longed for the Griffin iTrip AUX. Let me tell you why.

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[APK Teardown] Google Search v4.1 Hints At Notifications Read Aloud, Project Hera, Social Networking, And A Whole Lot More

Google's developers took a couple of weeks off for the holidays – or from my perspective, they gave me a couple of weeks to rest – but now they're back and it's time for the app updates to resume. Naturally, it's time to breathe life back into the teardowns, and we're back with a big one. Google Search v4.1 began rolling out to users yesterday, and we've already seen quite a few little adjustments and improvements. After plenty of digging, a stack of additional changes have surfaced, including one that is already live, and several more just waiting for some finishing touches.

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Google Hands-Free Shows Up Again, This Time In Google Search

Quite a while ago, we wrote about an upcoming hands-free (and eyes-free) interface code-named KITT. The interface - intended for use in the car or in other places where looking at your phone isn't wise - would be stripped down, displaying a black screen and large iconography, and would have the ability to read notifications aloud, among other things. More recently, an icon for an app called Google Hands-Free showed up in a promotional gif posted to Google's Google+ page, hinting that the service was still under development.

Today, it looks like another clue toward Google's Hands-Free interface has surfaced - this time, it's in the actual Google Search app.

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'Google Hands-Free' Icon Spotted In Promotional GIF Teases Unreleased In-Car Functionality

Earlier this month, when we recapped all the rumor and leak posts we had published leading up to Google I/O, hands-free functionality called Android Eyes-Free (codenamed KITT) was marked as "partially live." For those in need of a refresher, our post outlined in-car functionality that would carry a stripped-down interface, notifications read aloud by Google, and a new hand-waving gesture used to wake the device.

While the hands-free hotword functionality has already debuted, the dedicated in-car interface, void of any visual chrome, has yet to be revealed (or even really hinted at) by Google.

But a small tidbit spotted in one of Google's promotional gifs today might give us just a little more hope that the functionality is still in progress.

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Rumor: Google Exploring 'KITT' For Eyes-Free Functionality In The Car, Always-On Listening

A while ago, we posted about information we'd received indicating that sometime soon, Google's search functionality (and other actions) would be expanding beyond the Search app, moving into other apps for device-wide search interaction and - eventually - app-specific functionality.

It appears that isn't the only Search trick Google is working on, though. According to the information available to us, Google is working on functionality for now known as KITT (get it?) or "Android Eyes Free" internally. This functionality would allow users to interact with Search without touching or even looking at their device, getting just what they want without any distraction.

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Dragon Mobile Assistant Hits v3, Brings Location Sharing, Calendar Call Assistant, And Complete Hands-Free SMS

Nuance released its take on voice actions – Dragon Mobile Assistant – back in October of 2012, aiming to put "a Jarvis-like mini-mobile voice-enabled assistant" by your side. That's a huge order to fill, but the company is definitely edging towards a fully voice-controlled mobile, and today's update makes the app even more useful by adding a handful of new features.

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Location Sharing and Friend Finder: Dragon now gives you the option to share your location or find your friends.  Just say “Tell John where I am,” and Dragon will send John a text with a link to your location on a map.  Need to meet John at a BBQ joint in the crowds of SXSW?

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