Google Assistant

Google Lens app download out for Pixel and rooted Android

Google Lens app download out for Pixel and rooted Android

Google Lens was made available to Android devices this week through Google Photos. This app within an app, as it might appear, isn't available to just anyone - only those savvy enough to root their device and install the files through the back door. As always with this sort of thing, I must warn the average user that this process can result in the bricking of one's phone - in other words, if one does not know what this process is all about in the first place, one should be exceedingly cautious.

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Google Assistant now plays games, trivia for kids

Google Assistant now plays games, trivia for kids

A lot of the new toys that Google recently announced are designed for the big kids, but that doesn’t mean the tech giant has nothing for the little ones. With the Google Home, in original, Mini, and Max sizes, poised to become a fixture in living rooms, it’s only fitting that Google also embrace the little tykes that will inhabit those places as well. Google Assistant, both on that speaker as well as on your smartphone, can now entertain as well as educate kids with over 50 games, activities, and stories designed to be completely safe for a younger audience.

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Google Pixel 2 squeeze is as bad as the Bixby button

Google Pixel 2 squeeze is as bad as the Bixby button

Google is ironically doing a Samsung. When it was first leaked that the second generation Pixel would feature HTC’s Edge Sense, there were mostly two reactions. One was skepticism in the usefulness of such a feature and the other was relief that it is, at least, not a locked down as the Bixby Button. While the former still has to be proven, the latter has sadly just been debunked. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL’s squeezable Active Edge feature is hardcoded to launch Google Assistant or mute the ringer and nothing else, putting it on the same boat as Samsung Bixby.

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Google Assistant now has Chromecast and TV functionality without Home

Google Assistant now has Chromecast and TV functionality without Home

Though Google Assistant expanded beyond the Pixel and onto Android handsets back in February, there remain a few tasks it can't accomplish without a Google Home backing it up. One of the most annoying limitations on the smartphone implementation of Assistant is that you can't use it to control smart TVs and Chromecast devices. If you want to control playback on either of those, you'll need to talk through Assistant though Google Home.

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Pixel 2’s Active Edge is another Bixby Button blunder

Pixel 2’s Active Edge is another Bixby Button blunder

Just as the Samsung Galaxy S8 was roasted for its Bixby button, so too must we address the squeeze feature on Google's Pixel 2. The hardware comes from the HTC U11, the first place where HTC implemented "Edge Sense" with open-ended functionality. While the edge squeeze feature on the Pixel 2 remains a shortcut, it's currently restricted to Google Assistant - and no other connections are enabled.

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Target takes on Amazon through Google Assistant

Target takes on Amazon through Google Assistant

Using Google Express, Target just joined the ranks of an elite few stores able to be accessed through Google Assistant. This means that users will be able to say "OK Google" and order their monthly pack of cookies, or a new pack of socks when their old socks have worn through. This access takes on Amazon directly - as Amazon is one of the only major has-everything stores to not appear on Google Express as of this week.

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Alice is Yandex’s own voice assistant, speaks excellent Russian

Alice is Yandex’s own voice assistant, speaks excellent Russian

It seems that AI voice assistants are the new chess pieces in mobile superiority so, naturally, Yandex is jumping in on the game. Regarded as the Google of Russia, and simultaneously the greatest threat to Google in Russia, Yandex has an equivalent to nearly every Google service and feature available. So it was really only a matter of time before it came out with its own Google Assistant counterpart. Meet Alice (not the Resident Evil Alice), the smart assistant that will perfectly understand you. If you speak Russian, that is.

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Google Assistant now has a male voice, new languages, integrations

Google Assistant now has a male voice, new languages, integrations

While the Pixel 2 and new Home speakers are definitely the stars of Google's latest show, the tie that bind them isn't going left behind. Google Assistant, the one common feature across all of Google's fresh new batch of devices, may not have been under the spotlight that long, but its arriving with a big bang and a whole lot of new features. Including, at long last, the ability to change Assistant to use a male voice.

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Google Pixel Buds aim to make language barriers history

Google Pixel Buds aim to make language barriers history

For the most part, Google used its event in San Fransisco today to reveal everything we were expecting - the Google Home Mini, Pixelbook, and Pixel 2. Google ended its show with a couple of surprise announcements, though, leading off these mystery devices with the new Google Pixel Buds. As the name suggests, these are new earbuds featuring Pixel branding, but they're also capable of a lot more than just listening to music and pulling up Google Assistant.

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Google Home Max release date and pricing hit in a big way

Google Home Max release date and pricing hit in a big way

Google's Home Mini was joined by a much larger device this morning by the name of Google Home Max. This device is more of a sound-blaster or a music-blaster than it is a smart assistant-holder. This device is made to present a "thoughtful, crisp, sound experience." This device is made to work with YouTube Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, and other music services.

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Google lists device sales numbers at Pixel 2 event

Google lists device sales numbers at Pixel 2 event

Google has taken the stage at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, and as it usually does before it gets to the meat and potatoes of its presentations, it took the chance to recap how some of its products performed over the past year. Today, Google senior vice president of hardware Rick Osterloh took to the stage to do just that. Though he's there to debut some new products, he had some impressive statistics to share as well.

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Google Home Mini release and price as tiny as the device

Google Home Mini release and price as tiny as the device

This morning Google revealed the Google Home Mini, a smaller version of what was revealed in the original Google Home. This miniature device sizes up to 4.53 x 4.53 x 4.72 inches and weighs in at less than a pound. This device is such that it could potentially sit in every room of one's home, answering questions and turning lights on and whatnot.

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