Buying stuff online is easy, but getting support when things go wrong can be much harder. Walking into a store where you can drop off an item face-to-face and explain why it needs to be returned is a relatively simple process compared to wading through phone menus to speak to someone, or twiddling your thumbs as an underpaid support representative juggles twenty chats at once. But, if you haven't used it yet, Amazon's automated support chatbot is pretty great. Read More
Announced at Google I/O last year and released a few months later, Allo is the company's latest attempt at a chat application. The excitement has long since worn off, but Google hasn't abandoned it (yet). Perhaps what Allo really needs is more chat bots, because Allo 5.0 introduces the 'Lucky' bot. Read More
Tech companies are not immune to the ebbs and flows of the tide of fashion. The latest fad among mega-corps is voice-controlled interfaces - Google has half a dozen or so with the latest being Assistant, to say nothing of Siri, Alexa, Cortana, or any number of other vaguely feminine "bots." Location specialist Foursquare wants into this party, and they've decided to go masculine with their interpretation: Marsbot. It was previously available on the iPhone, but as of today the Android version is on the Play Store. Read More
Bots. They're coming. They're not after world domination. They don't want to entrap mankind in order to guarantee our safety. They simply want to talk.
And they're talking, alright. They're talking on Telegram. They're coming to Skype. Google apparently has another messaging service in the works, and they're making plans to talk all over that.
Now they're ready to host conversations in Facebook Messenger. Read More
Google, for all its skill in the realms of mobile search, advertising, email, and even operating systems, has never been particularly good at the social thing. Even now, I suspect, someone at Google is fuming at the notion that the company "isn't very good" at messaging or social networks and pointing animatedly at the tens of millions of Google+ and Hangouts users. The problem is and has always been that for whatever success Google has had in social and messaging platforms, it is constantly undercut by the actions of Google itself that say otherwise. There is near-yearly reworking, redesigning, or branching off of these products in ways that very strongly suggest they aren't getting the results Google's Alphabet overlords consider acceptable. Read More