When Samsung inadvertently removed the universal search feature from the international Galaxy S III, everyone assumed it was for legal reasons. Not so, says Samsung! As it turns out, the feature was removed on accident and, as of today, the feature has been restored. If you live in the UK, at least. No word yet on restoration to any other devices.
As you can see in the photo above, the device model this is being applied to is t he GT-I9300, which is the model for the international Galaxy S III.
In its endless attempts to make searching easier for everyone, Google has introduced yet another way to search via its mobile site at google.com: handwriting recognition. If you go to Google's search page from your phone or tablet's mobile browser and enable the feature via settings, you can now scribble your searches on the screen, even after receiving results. It's pretty fancy!
Of course, this does raise the question of whether this input method is any faster.
Well, this is awkward. While it was recently reported that Samsung removed the universal search feature from its international Galaxy S III devices, it turns out Samsung didn't mean to. Oops. According to the Korean manufacturer, the company only intended to remove the feature from certain US variants of the handset. Samsung told TechRadar, a UK-based tech publication, that the feature would be returning to the UK variant of the Galaxy S III.
The uninformed consumer (read: not you, dear readers) may be forgiven for not realizing Google's voice search/voice assistant/Google Now thing is attempting to compete head-on with Siri, what with lacking a name and not being nearly as anthropomorphized. However, Google's voice powers are, indeed, aimed squarely at making the act of finding and using information far easier than Apple's automaton. In this video, the two go voice-to-voice and...okay, let's not beat around the bush.
We non-Jelly Bean plebeians have been envious of those with access to Android 4.1 for some time now, and a recent video from JLishere provides yet another reason to be jealous. The video, a demo of the much-anticipated Google Now, shows off just how accurate JB's voice recognition can be - in fact, it was able to pick up on the subtle differences between words like 'Worcester' and 'Wooster.' It also exemplifies the impressive number of commands Now (in cooperation with the Knowledge Graph) can register - from "call the Drake Hotel" to "do a barrel roll."
Enough balderdash, though - watch the 47-question demo for yourself:
Update: 20 more questions:
One last note: as JLishere notes in the video description, the demo was performed on an early build of Jelly Bean - this, in other words, should be considered a beta feature that will only get better with time.
Google Now is a feature we've been eagerly anticipating for what seems like forever now. In fact, we've been seeing hints at something like it since 2010. When Apple announced Siri last year, an official counterpart from Google became not only inevitable, but necessary - iOS' speech service provided direct Apple competition to Google's mobile search engine. Today, in one of the most notable announcements at I/O, the Big G made official its answer to Siri: the aforementioned Google Now.
Over at Google I/O, the news about Android 4.1 - a.k.a. Jelly Bean, if you haven't heard - just broke.
Update: check out the Jelly Bean video:
The first announcement was Project Butter, a new processing framework for Android that should make it run much, much faster - up to 60fps, in fact. The CPU and graphics will now work together in harmony, with the latter being triple-buffered, meaning things like scrolling and transitions should be noticeably faster.
You guys remember Voice Search right? That app that every Android user ever has installed on their phone or tablet? Well, the Wall Street Journal, best known for being right about a good number of things, is reporting that Google has "accelerated plans" to launch a "Siri competitor." Our super secret sources tell us that Google will "launch" this competitor in August, 2010.
The WSJ doesn't have much more information beyond that:
Google, meanwhile, has accelerated plans to launch its own Siri competitor that would work on Android-powered devices, people familiar with the matter have said.
Earlier today, mobile software developer SPB Softwareannounced on its website that it had been acquired by Russian search engine giant Yandex. TechCrunch reports that the price of the acquisition was a cool $38 million.
Yandex is Russia's largest internet company, operating the country's most popular and the world's seventh largest search engine. In contrast, SPB Software is a leading mobile software developer, that has, since 1999, been making applications for mobile phones that enable subscribers to do more with their handsets and network connections.