google now

Glass quietly adds personalized photo search

Glass quietly adds personalized photo search

Google's XE11 update for Glass may have added calendar and custom location support, but that's not the only personalized search that the wearable now offers. Glass can now search through Google photos with a custom speech search command, so for instance it's now possible to ask "OK Glass, Google my pictures for cats" and see all of the shots you've uploaded that have felines in them. The system also supports tagged people.

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KitKat Google Now opt-out not permanent: here’s where to find it

KitKat Google Now opt-out not permanent: here’s where to find it

With the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat, Google begins an age in which their Google Now service is right up front and center - and you can opt-out from the outset. What you'll find when you first start up the Nexus 5 is a series of option pages, much like versions of Android before 4.4 KitKat, including a new one that asks if you'd like to opt-in to Google Now. If you decide to opt-out, Google Now all but disappears from your Android experience.

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Google Now for iOS adds KitKat voice control and new notifications

Google Now for iOS adds KitKat voice control and new notifications

Google has updated its Google Search app for iOS, boosting Google Now functionality including the "OK Google" voice search from Android 4.4 KitKat, new notifications that show up outside of the app, and a more streamlined UI. The app, for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, now delivers reminders for when to leave in time to make it for an upcoming appointment (or if your flight is running later, or you're about to miss the last train home) without needing to be opened first, making it far more useful for iPhone owners on the go.

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Android 4.4 KitKat Google Now experience hits the homescreen

Android 4.4 KitKat Google Now experience hits the homescreen

Those without a Nexus 5 in their hands already may not have noticed the fact that a brand new home screen feature has been added to Android 4.4 KitKat: Google Now. This system has been part of Android for several iterations of the OS now - a couple of generations, that is - but this marks the first time the experience is integrated in with the home screen itself. In fact, it's so integrated that it's actually the base for the homescreen, instead of the the other way around.

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Android KitKat OK Google voice activation not Nexus 5 limited

Android KitKat OK Google voice activation not Nexus 5 limited

This week we've had the opportunity not only to see our first glimpses of Android 4.4 KitKat, but to test it on a variety of phones. What you're seeing here is the first look at homescreen-based "OK Google" voice commands - aka hands-free mode - on an HTC One. This device is amongst a wide variety of devices that, working with an early build of the Google Experience launcher (from Google), will work with this bit of functionality.

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Context-aware and carrier-free: Google’s Rich Miner on tomorrow’s smartphones

Context-aware and carrier-free: Google’s Rich Miner on tomorrow’s smartphones

Smart devices that better understand context and might even be divorced from the traditional carrier deals are the future of mobile, Google Ventures' Rich Miner has predicted, teasing that the search giant's finance arm is almost ready to announce an investment that might help deliver some of the carrier-cutting intended with the initial Nexus project. Asked during the Mobilize conference today whether Google was considering rebooting its goal to push unsubsidized smartphones and relegate the networks to dumb pipes, Miner argued that the average consumer "still prefers a subsidized device" right now, but that Google Ventures is hoping to change that. "We've made an investment in one company that we're not going to make public right now" Miner revealed, "that is going to affect that space."

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Apple buys Cue for Siri’s next Google Now assault

Apple buys Cue for Siri’s next Google Now assault

Apple has reportedly acquired Cue, a social search engine which indexed email and other user details to construct a dynamic, personalized calendar, in a move that's seen as taking on Google Now. Cue, which launched as Greplin back in early 2011 and then rebranded last year, is widely expected to be integrated into Siri as an Apple-exclusive feature; the company withdrew its app recently, refunding premium subscribers and shutting down the service.

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Google Search for Android gets “OK Google” hotword

Google Search for Android gets “OK Google” hotword

Google's search app for Android now starts a new voice search when you say the hotword "OK Google" instead of just "Google". Additionally, the new hotword also starts a fresh search while the app is displaying results from the previous search. This change comes bundled with the latest (2.8.7) update and activates when you manually update the language pack.

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Google Hummingbird secretly supercharged search a month ago

Google Hummingbird secretly supercharged search a month ago

Google quietly switched on a new search algorithm, Hummingbird, a month ago the company has revealed, impacting an estimated 90-percent of searches by improving how the engine handles complex queries. Revealed at an event earlier today, held at the house Sergey Brin and Larry Page first used while setting up Google almost fifteen years ago, Hummingbird consists of new technology that can better understand natural language and compound questions, particularly of use when handling "OK Google" voice commands such as will be added to the iOS search app imminently.

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Android KitKat teased with updates for Hangouts, Gmail, Search

Android KitKat teased with updates for Hangouts, Gmail, Search

This week the teams behind several of Google's key apps for Android have ushered in updates that tie the family together closer, ushering in an environment ripe for a new operating system iteration. That new version is, of course, Android 4.4 KitKat, and considering Google has been ushering in the press on the subject so readily over the past couple of weeks, there's little doubt that this system is far from ready for prime-time. This weeks' app updates include Gmail for Android, Hangouts for Android, and Google Now - through Google Search, of course.

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