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Funny video: 8 accents are tested on Google Home, Alexa, and Siri with 4 different questions

 

Google's speech recognition error rate is getting lower and lower - yesterday, the company said it's now under 5% and has dropped from 8.5% this time last year. And I find that to be more and more the case in my own use: Google seems to recognize almost everything I throw at it now, even when I add Lebanese/Arabic names from my contacts list that I wouldn't expect it to get right.

But if you're wondering how Google's speech recognition fares in comparison to other voice assistants, Wired has made a video in conjunction with Andy Wood and Matt Kirshen (from Probably Science) to show you just that.

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Netflix was just the start: Google Play Console lets developers exclude app availability for devices that don't pass SafetyNet

Last weekend, a huge turmoil swept the root-enthusiast Android community as it was discovered then confirmed that the Netflix app was being blocked from showing up in search results on the Play Store for rooted devices. At the time, Netflix said it was using Widevine to block unsupported devices, but that made no sense to us: the app was still functional if it was sideloaded, it was only not showing up as compatible in the Play Store. So what sorcery was Netflix really using?! Turns out it's a new function of the Google Play Console.

As part of the updates announced for the Play Console at I/O 2017, Google mentions a new Device Catalog section under Release management that lets developers choose with intricate granularity which devices their app supports on the Play Store.

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Google Assistant can now control more appliances and smart home devices including Roomba, LG, GE, and D-Link

Yesterday we learned that Google Assistant is about to offer more capabilities on your phones and gain several smart and interesting features, but there's one other piece of interesting news: it's also now adding support for more smart home devices and appliances.

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YouTube mobile streaming is open to all, no longer has a subscriber requirement [Update]

The ability to Go Live on YouTube (not to be confused with the entirely unrelated YouTube Go) previously required that you have 1,000 subscribers, and before that the requirement was set at 10K. In a bid to compete with other services, it looks like that limit has been dropped further, all the way to zero. That's right, now everyone can Go Live on YouTube without any subscribers. The only requirements are a verified channel and no live stream restrictions in the last 90 days. We've reached out to the YouTube team to confirm the change.

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[Update: Already live] Google is rolling out smart replies in Gmail

One of the unique features of Google's Inbox mail application was smart replies. Inbox tries to predict what the message is about, and provides three quick replies. I'll admit, I don't use it much, but it's pretty nice if you're quickly exchanging messages.

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Android O feature spotlight: More natural movement with physics-based animations

Animations in apps can often be jerky or unrealistic, but in Android O Google plans to give developers tools to make animations buttery smooth and natural with the power of physics. It should also be much simpler to make animations with this system.

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MediaTek launches a new chipset for Google Assistant and Android Things

MediaTek has just announced a new chipset for two of Google's favorite recent projects: Google Assistant and Android Things. The descriptively named MT8516 is a 64-bit ARM platform that includes wireless radios and is designed specifically for voice assistants applications. It looks like Google has one more hardware partner behind Intel and Qualcomm for its future IoT plans.

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Kotlin is now an officially Google-supported language for Android app development

The I/O news is starting to turn to developer-centric topics, and one of the more significant things to come out of the keynote is an official declaration that Google is now officially supporting Kotlin as a first-class language for developing Android apps. Starting with Android Studio 3.0, Kotlin is included out-of-the-box, so there are no additional setup steps or add-ons to install.

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Android O feature spotlight: Night Light gets a slider to control how intense you want it to be

Night Light made its formal debut on Android 7.1 Nougat not long ago, but that doesn't mean that it can't be improved upon. The second Android O developer preview has added a slider that allows you to control the intensity of Night Light, just in case you found the default to be too yellow.

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[Update: Factory images and OTA files] Android beta registration is back, O Dev Preview 2 rolling out now

The beta program is now live! Cruise on over here to check it out, if you'd like to register for the program. Only a few Nexus and Pixel devices are compatible with the service, but now you can whet your Android O whistle in a slightly more stable way.

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