Back in December last year, we looked in-depth at the work Google has been doing to improve text-to-speech and other artificial language use cases. Artificial voice synthesis can be much more powerful and impressive thanks to WaveNet neural network technology, developed by Alphabet subsidiary DeepMind. It's been used to make the Google Assistant sound more natural, and now makes up part of a whole new product: Cloud Text-to-Speech. Read More
My Google Home isn't the best at figuring out if me (or someone else) actually says "Hey Google" or "OK Google." Sometimes I'll be watching a video where no one says anything remotely similar to those phrases, and the lights on my Home flip on. But I have noticed that most of the time, the lights turn off a split-second later, as the Home actually realizes that no one called for it (presumably once the voice clip is processed by Google's servers).
Amazon appears to be giving Alexa a similar ability, with the introduction of 'Cloud-based wake word verification.' Read More
Yesterday Microsoft launched a new Android app for its cloud computing platform Azure. Administrators using the service will probably find the convenience of being able to check on things with their Android devices helpful. It even provides notifications and alerts in the event of specific problems, making it that much easier for your work to find you at home. Read More
Today, Google took to its Work blog to announce the new partnership between Google Apps for Work and Box. The latter will now integrate with Docs and Springboard for further efficiency in business practices. Box will also serve as a third-party repository for Docs, Sheets, and Slides. The cool thing about that is users will be able to create new files and edit collaboratively within Box itself.
Google also announced that it is working to integrate its Springboard enterprise search tool with Box. Through this, users can find the information or files they need regardless of where that all may be hosted — whether that is in Gmail, Drive, Docs, or Box. Read More
As we reported yesterday, SwiftKey's synchronization service has been down for several days. At the time, there was speculation that the outage was related to reports from users that they were getting predictions from other accounts. That's not speculation anymore—in a brief post on the SwiftKey blog, the company confirms that it disabled sync because of the prediction bug. Read More
Ready for a new smartphone from a new smartphone maker that you can only get from a new Kickstarter page? Nextbit hopes so. The company that's made from ex-Android and HTC employees has announced its debut smartphone, Robin.
Nextbit comes from the minds of former Android employees Tom Moss and Mike Chan, along with former HTC designer Scott Croyle, who led the team that brought us the HTC One M7 and M8. Robin's design, if nothing else, is unique. The phone is rectangular with sharp corners and pastel colors. Though with the inclusion of a black border around the screen along with speaker grills at the top and bottom, you can see some lingering aspects of HTC design. Read More
Wuala, an extra secure cloud storage service that we first talked about back in 2011, has announced its imminent shutdown. Originally created by Swiss researchers, Wuala was acquired by French hardware maker LaCie in 2009 as a means to take advantage of the growing interest in cloud solutions. After LaCie was acquired by Seagate, Wuala too fell under that corporate umbrella.
No explicit reasoning has been given for the shutdown, but it isn't hard to see that Wuala just hasn't taken off and may well have lost users in recent years. Not only do existing users have to move their data elsewhere, they need to do it quickly. Read More
RealNetworks has struggled to make the transition to mobile, but it's not for lack of trying. There was a regular RealPlayer app, but that didn't get traction. Then there was RealPlayer Cloud, which had some potential. Now with a wave of its magic wand, RealNetworks has transformed RealPlayer Cloud into RealTimes. It's a photo/video manager with online sharing and remixing features.
As time progresses, I find myself with more and more cloud storage to manage. Typically, I try to stick with Google Drive and Dropbox but increasingly - despite their fairly intuitive interfaces - managing the actual files that fill up my storage space seems like a hassle. Luckily, there's an app that makes my storage situation as clear as I could hope - Unclouded.
Christian Göllner's Unclouded, if you missed our coverage at launch, is an app that helps "explore, analyze and clean your cloud storage." It hit version 2.0 today, with a long list of new features and improvements.
Besides support for Box and Onedrive, the app has new premium features including a dark theme and security options allowing users to protect their info with a PIN, password, or pattern. Read More