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Articles Tagged:

Voice

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Amazon will let third-parties use its microphone and speech processing tech to make Alexa devices

There have been a few Alexa-enabled devices from third-parties, but only Amazon's own hardware uses its fancy far-field microphones and speech processing technology. That's going to change soon, though. Amazon has announced the availability of the Amazon Alexa 7-Mic Far-Field Development Kit, which will let third-parties develop better Alexa devices.

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[Update: Google killed it] Burger King's stupid new ad triggers the Google Home to tell you about Whoppers

Always-listening voice assistants, like Google Now/Assistant or Alexa, can't really tell the difference between you talking and someone else (unless you have Trusted Voice enabled on Android). Maybe you've watched a few tech videos where someone said "Ok Google," and your phone started talking back.

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InBrief
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Microsoft Translator now supports Japanese voice translation

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Telegram v3.18 adds new voice calls and video compression options

Users of the messaging app Telegram may have noticed an update waiting for them today. This new version, 3.18, adds in five compression options for videos and the much-requested voice calls. But before we get too carried away on that last one, let's look at the changelog.

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Hangouts on Android will remove SMS support on May 22

Once upon a time, I was able to get most of my communication done through Hangouts. Between its support for standard SMS, Google Voice, and normal Hangouts conversations, it was an incredibly useful tool. It could even merge SMS and Hangouts conversations into the same thread, much like iMessage on the iPhone.

Over the past year or so, Google has been separating all this functionality into standalone apps. Google started asking SMS users to switch to Messages, then removed merged conversations, and finally launched a new separate Google Voice app. The company has also been trying to move people off Hangouts itself, with its new Allo and Duo apps.

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Samsung makes Bixby voice assistant official, coming first to the Galaxy S8

Samsung's S Voice has been limping along for years in the shadow of Google Now (and more recently Assistant). Today is the day Samsung starts to move beyond that with the official unveiling of Bixby. Samsung says this isn't intended to be a better version of data driven assistants (or agents, as Samsung calls them). Instead, Bixby is geared toward making interactions with your device faster and easier.

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[Update: APK] Google resurrects Voice, gives the app and website a full makeover

Google Voice was a big deal when it launched back in 2009—there was a waiting list to get access, and the entire concept felt magical. However, Google seemed to give up on Voice some years ago, offering users the option to port some features of Voice into Hangouts and Project Fi. Now, Google Voice is back and completely revamped.

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[Updated] Voice website banner mentions 'The new Google Voice,' but nothing seems to have changed

Remember Google Voice? Google's first stab at a voice-over-IP system is still up and running, though much of its functionality has been absorbed or augmented by the SMS and calling functions of Hangouts. It's a bit dusty in the Voice closet - the desktop web version of the service looks like a relic, and the Android app has only received a couple of maintenance updates in the last year and a half. But users who still rely on Google Voice as their primary phone number (like me!) have reason to be hopeful that the service hasn't been completely abandoned.

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Onvocal's OV headphones have Amazon Alexa built-in, coming in January for $399

Amazon's Alexa voice control platform continues worming its way into more products today with the Onvocal OV Bluetooth headphones. The OV is like any other Bluetooth device in that it can communicate with the voice assistant built-into your phone, but there will be an app for OV that adds one-touch access to Alexa as well. That ability doesn't come cheap, though.

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Actions on Google opens to the public, developers now free to create custom voice actions for Google assistant

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.

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