Google I/O is coming! We'll know about all of Google's new projects in just 2 short agonizingly long weeks. While we desperately count the days until May 15th, we thought it would be a great idea to take stock all of the things we've caught wind of lately.
Calling this an "I/O Preview," sounds a little too certain. I'm not predicting everything here will come out at I/O, this is just a list of everything we know Google is working on - their "To-Do" list.
Google Voice is a great service for replacing your carrier's voicemail and texting options. If you need something that's a bit more robust, however, SendHub has launched on Android and allows business-class users to set up a phone number (or set of numbers) and get texting and calling for free or cheap, depending on what class of service you need.
Free users can get 60 voice minutes, 500 messages, and 3 groups of 50 contacts for their first line.
When Google announced Keep last week, one of the coolest features we learned about is the ability to accept the "note to self" command that has been part of Google's Voice Actions since the Froyo days. Previously, this would send an email to your own account with the transcribed text and the original audio file. Keep allowed users to send that data to a proper note-taking app instead. Well, as it turns out, Catch wants in on that voice action, so in a recent update, it's added the ability as well.
If you're a new AT&T U-Verse internet customer (or considering becoming one), listen up – the service provider announced yesterday that it is now offering a selection of devices free when new customers package internet service with either U-Verse TV or Voice. Customers can choose between a Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, Sonos Play:3 (with WiFi bridge), or an Xbox 360. What's more, customers will get access to AT&T's WiFi network free of charge.
Did you know that, since the last update to Google Search, developers have been able to utilize offline voice recognition? Previously, any non-system app that wasn't an IME (Input Method Editor) that hoped to recognize your voice without a web connection needed a rather kludgy typing overlay. Since the update though, apps can hear and interpret not just your words, but essentially any command that doesn't explicitly require web access.
It's nice to finally have Facebook pay at least a little attention to its mobile apps for a change. Today, the social networking giant is rolling out an incremental update that brings a couple of new features. Of course, there's the big one: remember that new voice messaging thing that Messenger got? Now the regular app has it, too.
Here's the full changelog:
What's in this version:
• Open and view photos faster • Share your friends' stories to timelines, pages and groups • Send voice messages when you have more to say
The bulk of the new changes will likely be of little consequence, but if you've ever been mildly frustrated by your inability to share a friend's posts to different pages or groups, your life will get just a smidge easier.
Alright, Google. It's time to stop leaving your VoIP service to languish on the vine. Facebook has released a double-whammy of big news bits. For starters, today the social network is rolling out an update to its Messenger app that will allow users to send each other short, recorded audio clips. It's voicemail for the 21st century, if such a thing can even exist without being horrible. And, really, this sounds like it's not.
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.