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Android users can replace Google Now with Cortana

Android users can replace Google Now with Cortana

In terms of a third-party app achieving success on a smartphone platform, there's probably nothing better than getting set as the default application for a specific task, whether it's the browser, email client, or messaging service. That's why Microsoft has scored a big win with its latest beta of digital assistant Cortana for Android, as users can choose it over the built-in Google Now. This comes shortly after the initial beta rollout of Cortana for Android.

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Yahoo Aviate just made a lot of Android users angry

Yahoo Aviate just made a lot of Android users angry

Today Yahoo updated the launcher known as Yahoo Aviate to include a service much like Google's own "Google Now" feature. Instead of users embracing this sort of alternate universe feature, users of Yahoo Aviate have responded with less-than-positive remarks aplenty. Yahoo calls this new feature Smart Stream, suggesting that it "puts relevant information front and center so you can take action right away." "What if your phone could just show you the information you wanted," said Paul Montoy-Wilson, Product Manager of Yahoo Aviate and Co-Founder of Aviate, "instead of forcing you through multiple steps to get there?"

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Google Now on Tap demonstrated with high context awareness

Google Now on Tap demonstrated with high context awareness

Some say it's Google's way of making search the centerpiece even on Android, making apps almost redundant. Others say it's the natural evolution of search's feature. Whatever the case, Google Now on Tap, a feature arriving with Android M later this year, is shaping up to be both interesting and also somewhat scary. At SMX in Paris, Behshad Behzadi from Google demonstrated Now on Tap, including a geolocation feature never before seen elsewhere. And Google Now, on Tap, performed well with almost deadly context-aware accuracy.

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Google Now On Tap works with all Android apps

Google Now On Tap works with all Android apps

Aparna Chennapragada speaks on how Google Now will be given a giant feature update in coming weeks. Speaking at Google's developer conference Google I/O 2015, Chennapragada let it be known that Google Now would continue to focus on Context, Answers, and Actions. Google Now will be given new abilities in the immediate future like "Gas Stations Near You" or the location of your choice. But it won't all be done inside Google Now - "In a mobile world you get things done with apps."

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“Proactive” to turn iOS Spotlight into Google Now rival

“Proactive” to turn iOS Spotlight into Google Now rival

Despite many hailing Siri to be exponentially better than Google's equivalent voice-controlled feature, it seems that Apple might be taking a few pages from Google Now's book in future iOS releases. Dubbed "Proactive", the initiative is tipped to turn iOS Spotlight, the lesser known search feature on mobile, into something that mimics and might even surpass Google Now's functionality on Android. This means more timely and relevant search results and information and even deep app indexing that will let users jump right into an app's particular screen or function.

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Send notes, directions, more to Android phones from a Google search

Send notes, directions, more to Android phones from a Google search

Last week, we showed you how to find your Android phone with a simple Google search. Now Google is introducing new features that allow you to push data to your phone through your desktop browser. You can send directions from the web to your phone; just type "send directions" into Google and a drop-down menu should pop up allowing you to "send directions to [your] phone." Then, Google Maps will automatically open on your phone, and you'll be ready to navigate away from your desktop.

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Yahoo to take on Siri and Google Now (again) with Index

Yahoo to take on Siri and Google Now (again) with Index

Yahoo is one company that definitely doesn't have "quit" in its vocabulary. Predating but practically overthrown by Google and perhaps to some extent even Bing, Yahoo is always in search of new ways to generate income but without budging on its true calling. Under CEO Marissa Mayer, the company is hedging its bets on search. But it won't be taking on Google directly, though of course it will do that as well. Instead, it is training its guns on Google Now, Siri, and Cortana. Yes, Yahoo will once again be entering the personal assistant arena. This time perhaps for real.

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It’s Chrome OS’ turn for the Google Now upgrade

It’s Chrome OS’ turn for the Google Now upgrade

Google has been increasingly pushing its Google Now virtual assistant and its "cards" convention across its different services and apps. The last one to get card-y was YouTube, where the cards will replace the older popups that relay additional information about videos. Now Google is teasing the next product to get a Google Now makeover, one that is probably long overdue anyway. The beta channel of its Chrome operating system has just gotten a new "Chrome Launcher 2.0", and the most outstanding feature is the presence of Google Now.

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Open source Sirius virtual assistant gets Google funding

Open source Sirius virtual assistant gets Google funding

Virtual, personal assistants seem to be the rave these days on mobile, from the big ones like Siri, Cortana, Google Now, and most recently BlackBerry Assistant, to the little known apps and services scattered throughout app markets. So it isn't surprising that we're hearing about another one called Sirius, a not so subtle play on Siri perhaps, but this software, and we can't call it product yet, hailing from the University of Michigan is a bit different. For one, it is open source software. And quite surprisingly, it has the financial support of Google.

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Google to finally open up Google Now API to all apps soon

Google to finally open up Google Now API to all apps soon

While Google Now has grown a following thanks to its timely suggestions and relevant information, it hasn't exactly grown by leaps and bounds, partly because of the limited supply of apps that actually integrate with Google's smart assistant, if you could call it that. Things might change soon, now that Google has, at least informally, revealed that it plans to open up the API for Google Now for other app developers. It's a feature that is truly a long time coming, something that Google Now could have suggested to its own masters.

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Siri, Cortana saves voice commands, passes to 3rd parties

Siri, Cortana saves voice commands, passes to 3rd parties

The recent privacy scandal that Samsung's Smart TVs have brought the issue of privacy and security with such voice-controlled features into the spotlight. But if you thought that Samsung was alone in this behavior, you'd be dead wrong. Perhaps it isn't common knowledge yet that smart assistants like Siri, Google Now, or even Cortana do keep your commands for some time for the purpose of improving services. But the duration of that storage as well as its reach is probably not so known. Until now.

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