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.
You guys remember Voice Search right? That app that every Android user ever has installed on their phone or tablet? Well, the Wall Street Journal, best known for being right about a good number of things, is reporting that Google has "accelerated plans" to launch a "Siri competitor." Our super secret sources tell us that Google will "launch" this competitor in August, 2010.
The WSJ doesn't have much more information beyond that:
Though voice control apps have been around for quite some time, it took Apple's release of Siri to bring the functionality to the mainstream. Now, competing manufacturers are trying to push out similar services. Samsung's first to the punch with a Vlingo-based "S Voice" service, though it remains to be seen how well it works.
About a month and a half ago, we posted about a highly impressive voice control app named "Utter!". Siri competitors are a dime a dozen nowadays, but Utter! is a lot more HAL than Siri:
Google Voice received its first major update in some time earlier today, undergoing a major UI refresh for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich devices (Gingerbread devices only see minor changes, such as the app icon), as well as new interface for Honeycomb and ICS tablets. Under the hood, SMS offline message queuing is now supported and works for multiple recipients.
Unfortunately, it still is ungodly slow to load on my Gingerbread phone, and scrolls like something from Android 1.6.
Improving on existing TTS technology, Loquendo (a Nuance company) is showing the world that "even computers can show their feelings," with a huge array of TTS engines that are not only more advanced, but significantly more dynamic than existing alternatives.
The bad news is that only two of these engines are currently available for Android – Italian TTS Paola and American English TTS Susan. That being said, we can still hope that more of Loquendo's engines will be adapted for Android, and, in the meantime, Loquendo's website has amazing demos of all its TTS voices, both static and interactive.
There's been a lot of buzz over Sprint's LTE plans lately, but the company's vice president of network development and engineering, Iyad Tarazi has just added more fuel to the fire, indicating that Sprint plans to deploy LTE-Advanced in a 10x10 configuration by the first half of 2013, using its 800MHz spectrum, offering download speeds of around 12-15 MB/s.
Meanwhile, Sprint's deployment of LTE on their 1900MHz spectrum is still on track for commercial launch by mid-2012.
Every once in a while, an app comes along that revolutionizes the Android experience in an unimaginable way. More often, though, we get apps that simply regurgitate the same thing we've seen a thousand times before but with a different colored title bar or some such minor adjustment. A happy medium between the two, however, is necessary to the advancement of the platform. Perhaps the most important type of app is one that provides the functionality that we've been using the whole time but solidly improves how it is done.