Yesterday's update UVLH1 for the Galaxy S II on T-Mobile may have shaken things up a bit when it comes to NFC and ISIS, but it now looks like Samsung has also sneaked in a tweak dumbing down universal search. A similar "fix" was discovered in T-Mobile's version of the Galaxy S III 2 weeks ago, and it seems like Samsung is not taking any chances with its older sibling either.
In a post to its official blog that's sure to excite users across the globe, Google has just announced that Voice Search is now available in thirteen new languages. The list of newly included languages, which range from Basque to Swedish, brings the total number of supported tongues up to 42.
In the post, Product Manager Bertrand Damiba explains just what it takes to add a new language to Voice Search – first and foremost, Google must collect "hundreds of thousands of utterances" from volunteers to bring speech recognition up to par.
Another day, another Kickstarter project. This one actually looks like it could have potential, though. Ubi is an Android-powered speaker system that connects to your local WiFi network. The small black box plugs into a power outlet and is controlled primarily via voice. It comes equipped with colored LEDs for notifications, and an array of sensors including temperature, humidity, air pressure, and ambient light. To round out the specs, the box packs a full-size USB port and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Earlier today, Google rolled out a brand new feature for its online patent research tool: prior art search. Now, while looking at a patent, you can click a single button to pull up a host of results from Google Patents, Google Scholar, Google Books, with a bit of Google's typical search results sprinkled on top. The goal, of course, is to aid in researching whether a patent that's been filed is "new and not obvious." Which is far more complex than it sounds.
This may not be strictly Android-related news, but it's safe to say that what Google does to search results is relevant to our readers' interests, no? Today, Google announced via its Inside Search blog that the company will start including the volume of valid copyright removal notices as a factor in determining how high or low a site ranks in its search results. Translation: pirate sites won't be removed entirely, but they'll start ranking lower than legitimate sites.
In a post to its "Inside Search" blog, Google announced today that several improvements are currently being rolled out to mobile search (for phones and tablets), making some of the engine's quick answers "richer, more beautiful, and more interactive."
In the recent past, users have enjoyed improvements to weather and calculator searches, with handy interactive cards (reminiscent of Google Now's visual style).
Google is now updating a heaping handful of other quick answer features including finance, currency conversion, unit conversion, dictionary definitions, local time lookup, and holiday and sunrise times.
When Samsung inadvertently removed the universal search feature from the international Galaxy S III, everyone assumed it was for legal reasons. Not so, says Samsung! As it turns out, the feature was removed on accident and, as of today, the feature has been restored. If you live in the UK, at least. No word yet on restoration to any other devices.
As you can see in the photo above, the device model this is being applied to is t he GT-I9300, which is the model for the international Galaxy S III.
In its endless attempts to make searching easier for everyone, Google has introduced yet another way to search via its mobile site at google.com: handwriting recognition. If you go to Google's search page from your phone or tablet's mobile browser and enable the feature via settings, you can now scribble your searches on the screen, even after receiving results. It's pretty fancy!
Of course, this does raise the question of whether this input method is any faster.
Well, this is awkward. While it was recently reported that Samsung removed the universal search feature from its international Galaxy S III devices, it turns out Samsung didn't mean to. Oops. According to the Korean manufacturer, the company only intended to remove the feature from certain US variants of the handset. Samsung told TechRadar, a UK-based tech publication, that the feature would be returning to the UK variant of the Galaxy S III.
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.