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Funny video: 8 accents are tested on Google Home, Alexa, and Siri with 4 different questions

 

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.

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Android O feature spotlight: More natural movement with physics-based animations

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.

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[Hands-on] Futurama Worlds of Tomorrow, a clone of a clone

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 developer's 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.

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The emoji support library in Android O means your phone won't need OS updates for new emoji anymore

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.

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Google's new Visual Positioning Service will guide you through indoor locations

We are all familiar with GPS. It has been guiding us to our destinations for years. But what happens when you arrive and you need to find a specific store in the mall or a specific item in a grocery store? Google will have you covered with a new technology it announced today called "Visual Positioning Service" or VPS. This technology builds on the idea of augmented reality tightly coupled with real world information. It will look for distinct visual features in your environment to create a map of the location using only the camera on your phone.

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Google launches new vitals tools in the Play Console Dashboard to find and solve problems

In one more slice of I/O developer news, Google has launched another set of tools for developers using its Console Dashboard for apps on Google Play. The new tool automatically analyzes app reports to show developers pertinent info about app issues. This is the 2nd big feature about making app performance and bug fixing easier for developers after the new visual profiler tools in the latest preview of Android Studio.

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Android TV is getting a new launcher with Android O

Android TV hasn't had much attention from Google in the past few months. The first Android O Developer Preview had no noticeable differences on the platform, and YouTube TV still doesn't have an Android TV application. I suppose good things come to those who wait, because Android TV is getting a brand new launcher with Android O.

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Google's education app Expeditions is getting a new AR mode

2 years ago at I/O, Google introduced Expeditions, an educational tool allowing teachers to take their classes on virtual reality field trips, and it's since been experienced by more than 2 million students around the world. It could be used with an inexpensive viewer such as Google Cardboard to tour a variety of virtual spaces, such as Antarctica or the International Space Station. During this year's I/O keynote, Google's VP of Virtual Reality Clay Bavor announced a new feature for the app — it now includes an AR mode.

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Google announces Daydream standalone VR headsets with beacon-free position tracking, HTC Vive and Lenovo onboard

VR has slowed in both improvements and public excitement recently. But that hasn't stopped Google from bettering its Daydream platform, its take on so-called "smartphone VR." Like Samsung's version, Daydream requires a phone to operate. As cool as this was, it led to some issues, notably battery life and heat. During this year's I/O keynote, Google announced the Standalone VR headsets that were rumored yesterday. As the name suggests, these devices won't require a phone to operate.

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Play Protect brings Google's app scanning to the foreground in the Play Store

Earlier this month, we covered the inclusion of "Play Protect" in a teardown of the latest Google Play Store APK. Today, Google formally announced this feature as part of its efforts to double-down on security. Boasting the fact that its machine learning algorithms scan over 50 billion apps each day, Google emphasized the importance of security on the Android platform.

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