You've gotta hand it to the folks in Mountain View. When NORAD decides to pass Google over for Santa tracking data, the company isn't one to sit on its hands and let someone else handle Christmas. This isn't the first year that the data giant has kept you up to date on the comings and goings of everyone's favorite fat bearded man in a red suit, but this Santa tracker may just be the best yet.
In addition to Google Search, the Google Translate, Authenticator, and Voice apps - along with five others - have been updated today as well, though these revisions aren't quite as exciting as new Google Now cards.
First, the Translate app received a bump to 2.5.3, adding text recognition via the camera translate function for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Handwriting recognition has been added for a number of new languages, as well, including: Afrikaans, Croatian, Czech, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Slovak, Slovenian, Ukrainian, and Welsh.
Way back in February, a man by the name of Ben Randall demoed an amazing voice control app called "utter!" that he had started developing. The initial video (a whopping 22 minutes long) demonstrated some amazing capabilities - take a look for yourself:
But that was over 9 months ago, and aside from the initial release of the (very limited) alpha, we haven't heard much about the app, though Mr. Randall has kept interested parties updated via his very active XDA thread.
For years Nuance's Dragon served as a leader in the world of voice dictation and commands. More recently, though, as Google and Apple move in on the speech control world, the company has a more pressing need than ever to distinguish itself. Enter Dragon Mobile Assistant. This app aims to "expands the natural language understanding and artificial intelligence" of Dragon Go! and "[add] the most popular personal assistant features."
At this point, most of our readers are probably aware of how voice assistants work.
Following today's announcements, Amazon decided to take some time to introduce a few awesome new features those who buy from the Kindle line can expect to enjoy from their new Amazon-branded tablets. In this post, we'll take a brief look at the bevy of new features, starting with X-Ray for Movies.
In a post to its official blog that's sure to excite users across the globe, Google has just announced that Voice Search is now available in thirteen new languages. The list of newly included languages, which range from Basque to Swedish, brings the total number of supported tongues up to 42.
In the post, Product Manager Bertrand Damiba explains just what it takes to add a new language to Voice Search – first and foremost, Google must collect "hundreds of thousands of utterances" from volunteers to bring speech recognition up to par.
Another day, another Kickstarter project. This one actually looks like it could have potential, though. Ubi is an Android-powered speaker system that connects to your local WiFi network. The small black box plugs into a power outlet and is controlled primarily via voice. It comes equipped with colored LEDs for notifications, and an array of sensors including temperature, humidity, air pressure, and ambient light. To round out the specs, the box packs a full-size USB port and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Thumb Keyboard, one of the most intuitive, well-designed, and practical keyboards available (especially for tablet users) got a big update recently, bringing the app up to version 4.5.
Perhaps the biggest benefit to the new update is that Thumb Keyboard now supports ICS' continuous voice recognition, which in case you've forgotten, is the feature introduced with Ice Cream Sandwich that actively listens and dictates your speech. This is a feature I haven't seen in other alternative keyboards, and it's definitely nice to have.
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.