One of the more controversial features of the Galaxy S8 is Samsung's 'Bixby' assistant, which has a dedicated button to activate it. But Bixby isn't very helpful, partially due to Samsung delaying English voice command support. But if you're in the United States and have an S8, you can sign up for Samsung's new Bixby Early Access program to try out voice commands. Read More
Google launched Assistant last year in Allo, and then it came to the Pixel and Google Home. The period of exclusivity for Google is over now with Assistant on tons of Android devices, and there's even an API for developers to implement on just about anything. Case in point, there is now a version of the AutoVoice Chrome extension that can call upon the power of Assistant. However, the setup process is quite a slog. Read More
Bixby was supposed to be one of the Galaxy S8's defining features, but it was far from ready at launch. Instead of the voice commands Samsung promised when it announced Bixby, we got a news feed, reminders, and some borderline useless computer vision gimmicks. Now, Samsung is aiming to endow Bixby with voice commands. They're only available in Korea right now, but it's a start. Read More
Fellow long time Tasker users will be familiar with João Dias and his awesome AutoApps plugins. One of his most popular, and the one that I use the most, is AutoVoice. Basically, the plugin listens to and hijacks Google Now commands to trigger Tasker profiles — I had a simple one that would turn on my PC via Wake On LAN when I said "Okay, Google. Turn on my computer." Now v3.0 has been officially released and brings some awesome Home, Echo, and IFTTT integrations as well as natural language commands. Read More
Google has been rolling out new features to Home since its release a few weeks back, not all of which have been hugely useful. Today, over two dozen new services have been added to Home—not that you'd ever know unless you went digging around in the settings. Most of them are not very impressive. Read More
For those of you who have used OK Google in regular Google Search before, then got a Pixel and a Google Home, the inconsistencies in what each of these can and can't do should be baffling. There are so many actions that Assistant struggles with on either the Pixel and Home that good'ol Google Search never had trouble with, and even within Assistant, there's a disconnect between what can be done from the Pixels or from Google Home.
One of the latter inconsistencies is that changing your Nest thermostat's temperature was possible with Google Search before and works with Assistant on Google Home, but for some odd reason, was not interpreted by the Pixel's Assistant. Read More
The Google assistant makes for a pretty awesome companion on the Pixel phones and Google Home, but it's still young and feels constrained by the very limited number of things it can do outside of Google's sandbox of supported services. During the October 4th announcement, Google declared plans to open up the platform in early December for developers to build their own services. Staying true to that schedule, the Actions on Google platform opened the door today, allowing developers to integrate their services. Google is also launching an early access program to begin testing new features and upcoming expansions. Read More
Google Now has a tendency to add voice commands without most people noticing. Besides the few listed in-app, Google hides most of its commands, perhaps the most useful ones. For example, Google's voice actions have been integrated and implemented within YouTube, so you can control video playback with your mi... wait, no that's the next update.
To get started, just start playing any video in the YouTube app. Then you can use any of these voice commands, triggered by the "OK Google" keyword, provided you have enabled its detection from any screen:
- "Pause" - Pauses the video.
- "Play" - Resumes the video.
Most readers are well-aware Google assistant is going to be the big treat later this year. It will soon become a meaningful part of new apps and products like Allo and Google Home, and it will surely introduce new features and capabilities as it evolves many existing ones into something new. A teardown of the latest Google app update reveals a little more about what we can expect when the assistant comes out. Read More