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Samsung acquires Viv, an AI platform created by the developers behind Siri

Samsung Viv

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#Samsung has freshly acquired #Viv, an artificial intelligence platform which was created by the people behind Apple’s popular voice assistant, Siri. Viv takes things to the next level as evidenced by a demo shown by the team earlier this year. What makes it stand out from the crowd is the fact that it can understand complex human commands and build on its knowledge over time.

Speaking of the new partnership, the CEO of Viv, Dag Kittlaus, said – “Samsung, as you surely know, is the market leader in smart devices across a wide range of use cases and industries. They ship 500 million devices a year. They also sell more smartphones and TVs than any other company in the world, not to mention a hundred million appliances and their ambitious Virtual Reality product line. Their product mix naturally fits Viv’s “simplify your interactions through conversation.”

Samsung Viv - 1

The company has mentioned that while Samsung will probably utilize some of Viv’s features in its products, it will remain to function independently. This will give them the autonomy to develop new features over time without any intervention from Samsung. We can expect to see some form of Viv on Samsung’s smartphones, tablets and even home appliances in the future. Check out the demonstration video of Viv below.

Source: Medium

Via: Techno Buffalo

Tipster claims Samsung is working on a new virtual assistant

Samsung Galaxy C7

Samsung Galaxy S7 - Snapdragon 820

According to a new report coming from a self proclaimed #Samsung tipster, the Korean manufacturer is currently working on a personal assistant for its mobile devices. While not much is revealed about the software side of things, it is being mentioned that this will be loosely based off the company’s S Voice application, which has served the duties of a voice assistant in previous Samsung phones.

Knowing how Samsung is banking on its upcoming flagship to dominate the high end mobile segment, we’re not surprised with the company’s insistence to bring out features like these to make their offerings more attractive to the customers. At this point however, we’re putting this next to the unconfirmed pile as it’s still too early to tell.

The tipster further mentions that there will be search engine integration with this voice assistant, which is kind of a prerequisite for modern virtual assistants. Perhaps we’ll get to learn more about this new voice assistant during the company’s February 2016 launch event of the Galaxy S7.

Source: @sleaksnow – Twitter

Via: Sam Mobile

Google Now comes out on top against Siri and Cortana in a massive question test

Google Now Cortana Siri

Google Now Cortana Siri

There have been innumerable comparisons between Siri and Google Now in the past. But with the recent arrival of Cortana for Windows Phone, the game has changed somewhat. And with iOS receiving a major refresh with iOS 8, it’s only fair to assume that things have changed substantially.

And the folks at Stone Temple Consulting have now tested the three voice assistants in a massive voice questions test where over 3,000 queries were asked to see which one comes out on top. And unsurprisingly, Google Now commands has excelled by a long margin with Siri coming in at a distant second and Cortana rounding off the third spot. The nature of the questions asked were diverse, ranging from “what did the fox say” to “how tall is the Mount Everest”.

You can check the brief excerpt of the results in the video below. The full results have been published on Stone Temple Consulting’s homepage. Google Now was unveiled after Siri, but has still managed to take the crown as the best mobile voice assistant going around. Cortana is still new to the scene and has some catching up to do, although it’s pretty decent for a relatively new voice assistant.

Source: Stone Temple

Via: 9to5Google

The Race to the Bottom: Information is the Key to the City

The next innovative step in mobile technology is information. He who can easily provide access to the most information will rule. This post is a fourth of a series, the first of which is at this link.

What has been necessary for the success of a mobile operating system has been having a large number of apps. It is why Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS have such a tight lock on the market. If you go back a couple of years, when the laptop or desktop was still your primary internet tool, you did not need all that many apps. Outside of your work, playing games, editing photos, instant messaging, and similar tasks, you probably spent 95% of your time on your personal computer on one app: the Web Browser.

The web browser was your portal to the internet. It made printed encyclopedias and dictionaries obsolete. It reduced your reliance on, and for many, has replaced newspapers and magazines. These printed sources of information provided static information. Information which was correct, close to the date of publication. The Internet provided you with up to the minute information. But when we started reducing our reliance on our personal computers and moved over to mobile devices, many left one important thing behind: reliable 24/7 internet connectivity. So all of a sudden we started downloading offline dictionaries, the CIA Factbooks, collections of cooking recipes, and a lot of informational publications.

If someone were to conduct a study, I think they would find a correlation between the number of apps  person has installed and internet connectivity. Those connected to the internet 24/7 will have less apps on their devices than those who rely on mainly on WiFi. What for open one app to look for the meaning of the word, and another to look for a recipe or a third to get information on some place of interest, when you can simply click on a magnifying glass icon and type, or speak, what you are looking for. A lot of apps on the Google Play or Apple App Store were designed to give offline utility to our mobile devices.

In a way, as we made a step forward in terms of mobility, we made a step back in access to information. This fueled the creation of the large app markets. In turn, this also resulted in the creation of apps that aggregate information from various sources like the highly popular Flipboard. No one really wants to have to go through one or two dozen apps per day, when one app will do. As more users avail of data plans and the available speeds increase, our reliance on a larger number of apps will be reduced.

GoogleNow

There will be no need to have plenty of apps to access information. You will have one super app which will be as dominant as the web browser was to your desktop. Actually, this super app already exists, in its nascent stages. Apple calls it Siri. Google calls it Google Now. Microsoft has christened its version, Cortana. These virtual assistants are the modern day web browser being able to provide you with audio or visual feedback, depending on what is more relevant to the situation. These apps are contextually aware of your location and can provide location-specific information.

It does not mean there will be no money to be made in mobile. There will be. Many of you have already seen how Google Now will alert you that you have to leave a meeting earlier than planned because of traffic conditions. These little reminders will cover more areas over time. Banner ads which we would see in our web browser will be replaced by discrete notifications from your phone that a shoe store nearby is having a sale. Based on your searches and payments made through your online phone, the smart little virtual assistant on your phone, tablet or piece of wearable technology will have a pretty good idea of what you like. Your device will remind you that it is time to have your car’s oil changed, and subtly add that XYZ service center just a mile away is offering 50% off on oil this week if you service your car there. When buying the new shoe or paying for the service done on your car, instead of reaching for your wallet, you grab your smartphone instead.

Smartphones and tablets which are today launched in lavish events and cheered on like rockstars, will become commoditized. In the same way that personal computer hardware became commonplace and boring, smartphones and tablets will get to this point. The latest and the greatest becomes less relevant each year. Buyers will be less willing to part with their money for the premium priced models, when a much lower cost unit will do. Large established manufacturers will be under more and more pressure from companies willing to accept lower margins. Yes, it will be like the PC industry, where margins per sale have diminished and old players like IBM and HP have moved or are moving away from hardware and more into services.

While Apple and Google, directly or through their partners happily extol the benefits of the latest hardware and publish app store numbers, take a look at their recent investments.  Microsoft despite what seem like almost insurmountable odds refuses to quit, even to the extent of entering hardware manufacture directly. These three are already gearing up for the business of providing more convenient access to information, easier payments and access services.

The smartphone and tablet manufacturers have really been in a race to the bottom, no matter what anyone may tell you. All this did happen after all, not so long ago.

 

Has the Age of the Virtual Assistant Arrived?

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Virtual Assistants had been languishing in relative obscurity on Apple’s App Store and Google Play until 2011, when Apple bought Siri and integrated it into its iPhone 4S. Siri was marketed as iPhone’s killer app. The following year, Samsung got the Vlingo Team to make S-Voice for its Samsung Galaxy S III. S-Voice featured the same hands-free control that was provided in Vlingo for Android. S-Voice would respond to the words “Hey Galaxy.” Just this month, Motorola put virtual assistant back front and center of the headlines with its Moto X. The Moto X uses Google Now and also is capable of full hands-free operation. Motorola actually added a dedicated natural language processor to be able to minimize the battery drain of keeping your phone constantly waiting to be activated by the phrase “Hey Google.”

Virtual Assistants allow you to make phone calls, send SMS, update social network status, make appointments, do searches and other smartphone tasks using voice commands rather than by tapping on your smartphone’s display. With three major manufacturers integrating Virtual Assistants in their hardware, I really am starting to wonder whether this is the next step in smartphone evolution. I have tried about a dozen different virtual assistants on three different platforms and have never found them too useful. One nice function is the ability to make calls. This works most of the time, and the rest of the time, it is unable to identify the contact I am trying to call. Another one is sending SMS. It is cool for sending short SMS, but to make sure it gets everything right, most virtual assistants will go through a long process of reading and confirming the message you want to send. Oftentimes it does not get the message correctly, so I have to cancel it and start over.

From my standpoint, it really does not save time, and is only useful when you cannot use your hands, like when you are driving. One good thing about using a virtual assistant when you are driving is that you are in a private space. This means you do not have to worry about the people around you hearing the commands you are giving and the responses of the virtual assistant to those commands. I still do find it distracting having to listen to what my virtual assistant is telling me while driving. So my habit has been if I need to call or SMS while driving, I simply find a nice safe place to park my car. For receiving calls, I just rely on my Bluetooth headset (…which I only use in the car. Defensive about that, but it is a long story). But hey, I don’t even listen to music in the car to maximize my situational awareness.

I have a lot of friends that own iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S III and S 4 phones. None really use Siri, except as a party gag. Some Galaxy owners did not even know S-Voice existed. Now Motorola has bet the farm on its virtual assistant optimized phone. The Moto X has a couple of nice traits, but the main feature which makes it stand out is the dedicated hardware for always-on voice recognition. I still have to confirm, but I am 99% sure that listening to the words “Hey Google” is done offline, so that while it is always listening, it is actively transmitting data to the internet until it hears the magic phrase. I do not want this discussion to be about security implications.

As I previously stated, I find no real productive use for these virtual assistants. I had voice dialing since 2007. I keep on testing each virtual assistant with a new phone or app, and I find it so frustrating that I would rather use speed dial. Audio does have its place. Audio books or document voice readers, while not a virtual assistant is one example where voice feedback is useful. I think there may be a future with task-specific virtual assistants like integrating voice-activated television remote controls on your phone. At the same time, I think the web really is visual. The popularity of Instagram is one example. Facebook and Google+ have gone through great lengths to make the visual experience more pleasing. I could have an app read my Twitter feed to me, but I would not see all the pictures posted.

The more we move from the visual to the audio, this pretty much destroys the advertising model that keeps a lot of our online services alive. Ironically, Google would be the biggest loser in this regard and will have to change its advertising strategies. Instead of a banner, the day will come when advertisements will be delivered to us in audio format– A notice that there is a sale in the store you are about to walk past, or an email containing an advertisement that your virtual assistant will read to you. Those annoying SMS promotions which we get from who knows where, rather than being summarily dismissed, will be read to us in full by our always-on virtual assistants.

Mobile phones have invaded our lives enough. Whereas a long drive to a meeting used to be a time to relax and think, people now expect us to be available 24/7 even for the most trivial things. And we do have to accommodate. Putting our phone in flight mode means missing even emergency calls. Somehow, I do miss the pre-SMS days when making a cellular phone call cost a lot.  People would have to think if it was worth their money to make a call.

In short, me, I am drawing the line. I do not want to see this kind of technology succeeding.  No need to boycott products that have it. The Moto X has some really nice hardware, and I do use a lot of Google services, from Email to Docs. But my advice is, if you want to keep Google stuck on your mobile phone’s screen and out of your ears, turn off the virtual assistant when you buy your next shiny new smartphone.

Is the age of the virtual assistant coming? I hope not. I cringe at the thought.

Image Credit: Google

New iPhone, Macbook Tweaks, Upgraded OS and Other Services Expected this Monday

[Photo Source: Daily News]
[Photo Source: Daily News]
The coming Worldwide Developers Conference this Monday is expected to showcase a new iPhone, a couple of Macbook tweaks, an upgraded operating system and other new services of the company.

Based on the report of Daily News, the 2013 WWDC is definitely something that Apple fans can definitely look forward to because it will likely launch a barrage of products which will surely be a hit in the market later.

New iPhone

The report speculates that the new iPhone might be the iPhone 5S. Although other sources say that Apple might skip the iPhone 5S and head straight to the release of the iPhone 6, the report remains firm that consumers will not see the rumored Apple smartphone with larger screen display until early next year. It explained that the unveiling of the iPhone 5S will be made in preparation for its circulation in the market in September this year.

New iPad

The iPad Mini Retina is expected to come out in the event too. The product is predicted to cost less than the current one because it will carry a price of $230 as opposed to the $329 price tag of its predecessor, the report went on. The new iPad is forecasted to hit the market later this year said the source.

New Operating System for Mac

The news source also claimed that Tim Cook, Apple CEO, will likely give the audience a preview of the new operating system of the company for its Mac computers during his traditional keynote speech. The Mac OS X 10.9, the Mountain Lion’s successor, will likely feature another animal which is the Lynx.

Other New Products, Apps and Services

For the other hardware, apps and services of Apple, the report claims that fans can look forward to a new iPod, iRadio, enhancements in Siri and other services connected with iTunes.

Products that are Not Likely to Debut at the 2013 WWDC

The source played down the possible introduction of the rumored next Apple TV. There is no mention of the iWatch in the article, indicating that it will not be featured in the event as well.

Source: Daily News

Siri’s user data stored for about 2 years according to Apple spokesperson

 

When iPhone 4S was launched in 2011, the most awaited feature of the device was the intelligent voice assistant Siri. Back at that time, Siri was considered as a revolutionary feature which was not available on any other smartphones. We had some similar software back then but they were not even near the smart voice assistant that Apple had released with their device. Siri used its voice recognition software to perform plenty of tasks like emailing your friend or calling your family etc. But any user who wanted to use the voice assistant had to make sure that the device was connected to a data network. This meant that Siri communicated with the servers online and the data was transmitted between these servers which made them vulnerable.

apple siri

 

Many started asking the question whether the company saved these requests or data and if they did for how long they kept them. Finally we have an answer to this question as Apple Spokesperson, Trudy Muller replies to Wired.

According to the Trudy, once a user talks to the digital personal assistant, the request or the data is sent to the Apple servers for analysis. There, the user is assigned a random number (which is not his apple Id or any other number which can relate to the person). The voice data sent to the server is linked to this random number and nobody in the company can find out the identity of the user. After six months or so, Apple deletes the random number associated with the data, however it still makes sure that the data is in the company’s servers for upto 18 months. During the 18 month period, the company analyses the data and uses it for product development purposes.

However, Nicole Ozer, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who brought this topic to the notice of the Wired is of the opinion that the company should atleast mention this in their Siri FAQs. According to Nicole a user should be aware that his or her data is being stored in the company’s servers and mentioning this in the FAQs would help them decide whether or not to use the service.

Services like Siri and Google Now are known to utilize user data and hence users would definitely wonder how their data is being used by these companies and for how long they are stored in their servers. The reply from Apple would be a relief for many users, still we advise one to read the privacy policies of these companies in detail before actually jumping out and using their service.

via Wired

Why the “S” in “IPhone 5S” May Stand for Siri: Apple Hires Siri Engineers and Writers

Siri Joke

I have written in articles prior that the newest iPhone to debut this coming Summer could be named the “5S” because of Siri. Apple has expanded Siri’s capabilities in iOS6, and Cupertino looks to do the same in iOS7 (I imagine). Apple has already called for new writers for Siri, so as to provide even more witty statements than the personal assistant already says in iOS6. Siri has come to learn how to greet iOS users, how to respond to simple human responses (when you say “thank you,” she says “you’re welcome,” “I live to serve,” or my personal favorite, “it is I who should be thanking you”), and how to post Facebook statuses and Twitter tweets. She can open certain apps, set your alarm clock and reminders, and even provide sports scores while the current sports game is still on television. I attended a local Red Robin restaurant one night and saw my college alma mater playing another college team. The game was still on, so I asked Siri about the sports score of the game at the moment; sure enough, she provided accurate results, as can be seen in the photo below:

 

Carolina:Miami Game

 

Apple said at the 2012 Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) that it intends to extend Siri beyond the iPhone to the iPad (which it did), followed by its extension into the automobile and Mac OS. IPad owners acquired Siri as part of iOS6, but Apple’s promise about Siri’s entrance into the world of Mac OS has yet to be accomplished. Now would be the perfect time to do so, come July 2013.

This week, the Cupertino, California company decided to publish a job ad in which Apple requests UI engineers who will expand Siri’s role in iOS and bring the cherished voice command to Mac OS. The engineers will “join the team that implements the UI for Siri,” which means that they will work in conjunction with Apple’s current Siri team. Siri will become “an OS within an OS,” as specified by the job ad. What this means, we believe, is that Siri will have a major presence within Mac OS. This goes beyond integration Siri with new apps in iOS—although it seems as though the job ad calls for it.

Siri’s dictation features have been added to Mac OS as of last year, but she does not have the full-range capabilities that she does in iOS6. With voice command, Mac OS users will be able to have Siri open apps, send emails, type letters and social media statuses and comments, and even set appointments and reminders. Apple’s desire to extend Siri to Mac OS is all part of Apple’s plan to increase hype over its laptops and desktops, which are falling in revenue for the company. Apple is still leading the way in its laptops and iMacs, while Windows is seeing a downward trend in its laptop sales. Still, whether Apple, Lenovo, or Hewlett-Packard, laptop sales are falling – due to the cannibalization of iPad and mobile tablet sales. Consumers have decided these days that tablets are more mobile than laptops and more inexpensive than laptops.

This is not the first attempt Apple is making this year to restore appeal to its laptops and Mac OS. The company has also placed a job ad for an “iOS Software Engineer,” someone who must be familiar with “Gigabit Internet.” Apple intends to produce 802.11c Internet for its latest 2013 MacBooks, an Internet technology that will produce speeds three times as fast as that of current 802.11a/b/g/n technology (1.3Gbps as opposed to 4.5Mbps). Expanding Siri to Mac OS is all a part of maintaining its MacBook collection in order to save it from death.

CES 2013: Chevrolet Integrating Apple’s Voice Assistant Siri in Chevy Sonic and Spark Vehicles

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Have you ever wished you had a voice assistant like Siri integrated in your vehicle? Well, it seems that Chevrolet is integrating Apple’s voice assistant Siri into their 2013 Chevy Sonic and Spark vehicles via a Bluetooth connection. Holding down a control on the steering wheel will activate Siri and allow you to use the voice assistant as you usually would eliminating the need to pick up the smartphone while driving. Essentially anything with Siri can be done that you would do without the Bluetooth connection except browse web pages, as Chevrolet does not want you picking up the smartphone while driving. If you were to ask Siri, “I need information on World War 2,” it will usually refer you to a Wikipedia page to browse. While the iPhone is connected to the vehicle, Siri will instead say “To ensure your safety, your vehicle will not permit me to help you with that right now.”

Now if we could just get Google Now integration in our cars!

source: YouTube

Image: Cartype

Apple TV Likely To Get Bluetooth Support in Next Update: Gaming and Siri Could Follow

According to 9t05Mac Apple has announced a new feature for existing Apple TV second and third generation hardware in its latest beta software for those devices. The registered developers tested the beta for Apple TV and concluded that right now it adds Bluetooth support to Apple’s set top streamer and makes it possible and easier to pair keyboards to the device for facile entry of text and streamline navigation. Possibly gamers could be a group that especially benefit from the changes as it could open the doors for much more to ensue.

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Furthermore the addition of Bluetooth support is significant and exceptional as it doesn’t require any changes to hardware.  It appears that this is just the activation of a latent ability present in existing Apple TV units. Formerly, for user input Apple TVs could use either Apple remotes, universal IR devices, or paired iOS hardware with the Remote app installed. Now Users with the beta running on their devices declare that they can pair any Bluetooth keyboard and navigate using arrow keys. In addition to this type entries into any text field can be achieved. Because it allows for much easier search, especially with small, media center-targeted hardware keyboards like Logitech’s diNovo Mini, this is quite beneficial and propitious.

Whether Apple wants to open up the platform to software beyond the limited offerings it provides now with specific partners or not is not yet answered. A full-features app store could provide a wealth of games to the Apple TV, outside the limits of what’s available through AirPlay mirroring with iOS devices. The most likely thing to happen is that having Bluetooth input device support becomes not just a nice convenience, but also a potential killer characteristic for an iOS-powered home gaming console. Already, iOS titles are making a lot of effort in this regard. They are approaching console quality and just imagine if they could be made available to a $99 streaming device too, then what could be more impressive and awe-inspiring

For the time being it seems like only keyboards are allowed to connect to the Apple TV, but addition of Bluetooth could also allow for the introduction of A2DP audio accessories as well. Apple’s living room presence has been expanded by content partnerships that bring live television and cable content into the platform. At the same time delivering an experience that supports a variety of control inputs. Apple is already making strategies to corroborate with hardware rather than saving it for further devices.

Siri will Book Movie Tickets with iOS 6.1

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Apple’s Siri is already known to do a lot of fancy things like crunch numbers, find restaurants near to your location etc. But according to 9to5Mac and its developer sources, with the upcoming iOS 6.1 update, Siri will also be able to book movie tickets as well. This seems like a decent addition to Siri’s repertoire which already brags of a few neat features. So how exactly will this work on iOS? Well, as you might have guessed by now, Siri will merely redirect you to Fandango where the rest of the business should be dealt with. Fandango will be available as a separate app, which means Siri will redirect you there. So Siri merely acts as a messenger and doesn’t actually book tickets for you. The Passbooks app on iOS will come in handy too. This could mean nothing but good news for Fandango, which could see a huge growth in its customer share. Alternatively, users can also book tickets for plays and theater shows near to their location. However, this could only see a limited roll out with U.S being given priority first.

The feature probably wouldn’t make much of a difference to many users, but yet it’s a good novelty to have. We’re not sure what else is new with the 6.1 update, but this seems to be one of the many minor improvements made to the system. If you recall correctly, the Maps app also requires some sort of an overhaul to make it attractive again. So there’s a fairly big list of things people want with the new update of iOS. Besides that, the iOS 6 operating system has been fairly okay with not much to complain about. So now that Siri can do all this, we wonder what’s coming next.

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It seems like Apple is trying way too hard to keep at pace with Android, which is ironic, as Android was once seen lagging behind iOS. With the new trio of Nexus devices up against Apple’s contemporaries, the coming months could well decide what the future holds for the companies. Oh and lest we forget Windows Phone 8!

Source: 9to5 Mac
Via: Tech Crunch

In-depth view of iOS 6 issues, who is to be blamed?

When Apple launched the next generation of iPhone, the iPhone 5, it also released iOS 6 to the general public. A large number of users have updated their older iOS devices to iOS 6, thanks to Apple’s Over The Air update which makes the process a breeze. With iOS 6, Apple has brought more than 200 new features to the existing iOS devices, but with this update, Apple has tried out something new and replaced the default mapping app from Google Maps with its own mapping service, Apple Maps.

Technically, Apple users are forced to switch the app they use for maps. It’s the first version of Apple Maps, and there are a lot of imperfections. Apple has essentially stripped all the Google components from its mobile OS. With Apple Maps, Apple is providing users with turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps, so they wanted to develop the whole application right from the scratch, and for this they teamed up with TomTom, a popular company in the mapping business, for their data set, which isn’t as strong as what Google is equipped with, but nevertheless, it just works. It should be noted that Apple still had over a year of contract left with Google, but seems like it didn’t want any ties with a company that is threatening its own business. Apple went ahead and created its own mapping app which is based on TomTom’s data, but they have gone terribly wrong and their decision to remove Google Maps from iOS menu was perhaps a bad one, besides, Google already has many of the features which Apple seems to have added in Apple Maps.

When iOS 6 was launched, Apple described Apple Maps as “the most powerful mapping service ever”, but that is not exactly what it is as many users have reported variety of problems, including important public transport stations being missing in several places and many more. Apple Maps is seen as one of the most unreliable mapping service ever, and many companies such as Google’s Motorola and others have made fun of it. After all the criticism, Apple replaced the words “the most powerful mapping service ever” on its website with “All in a beautiful vector-based interface that scales and zooms with ease.”. Good move indeed.

Going deeper into the issue, various analysts put the blame for this error on Scott Forstall, Apple’s Senior Vice President of iOS Software. A recent post by Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Apple 2.0 says that both Maps and Siri fell under Forstall’s leadership, and both the projects have been nothing but a huge disappointment.

On the flip side of the coin, Apple as a company should also be blamed because instead of pointing out both the strength and weaknesses of Apple Maps, it rather chose to market it as the “most beautiful, powerful mapping service ever.”, which is a fault on its part. According to recent reports, Apple won’t be able to fix the issue with Apple Maps in the near future. What are your thoughts on this?

Source: (1)

Google Introduces Siri-like Voice Search Features forAndroid and iOS

Everybody in the technology industry was amused when Siri was unveiled last October 2011 together with the launching of the iPhone 4S. From that time on, there have been voice recognition softwares coming out in public in order to rival the most welcomed Siri like the Samsung S Voice. Now, Google has unveiled the Siri-like voice search features for Android and the iOS.

Apple and Google have always been in and out of terms in past years even if the two are getting mutual favors from each other. Recently, Apple has announced to remove the YouTube app for iOS in the coming iOS 6 and they also plan on replacing the current Google Maps with their own 3D technology in the iOS 6 Maps. While Google and Apple may hate each other, it still means that they are competing in the same market whether they like it or not. They are doing everything to find and produce programs or products that will always be up with each other. Now, Google finally is giving major update on their Android and iOS Search apps. The new features of the Search app will possess smart, contextual voice recognition assistant that is very much like with Siri. Using the personal information associated with your Google account, the app will be able to answer you like your friend. Here is a short video from Google that introduces “Google Now” to iOS:

This was announced in an event Google had held in San Francisco, California wherein they also revealed that they answered 100 billion searches a month, an incredible number that made Google as the top search engine in the entire world. Google also had continued in launching Knowledge Graph to provide answers as well as links. The event has really emphasized how much Google is dedicated in improving and enhancing its wide range of services.
Are you excited to have the new Google Search voice assistant?

Nuance Introduces Nina for Android and iOS Apps

Nina for Android and iOS apps was unveiled by Nuance, the developer of the famous Siri for the iPhone 4S. Nina or “Nuance Interactive Natural Assistant” turns your iPhone or Android into voice-enabled customer service assistants by transforming the Smartphone’s apps like a tool that will allow customers to engage and receive immediate outcomes.

While Siri was first introduced on Apple as a built-in virtual assistant to the iPhone 4S, it was powered by the voice recognition service by Nuance. This leads to a lot of effort for third-party developers to create many clones and illegitimate means of getting Siri to work on other devices. However, Android and some other Operating System have also developed quality virtual assistants similar to Siri.

Nina was built on the same voice recognition engine from Nuance from which Apple has developed Siri. And thus, it just can be added to iOS and Android apps via Software Development Kit (SDK) issued by the company after their announcement.

So, what does it really actually do? Nina can validate your identity by using unique voice prints to authenticate. You can navigate through the system because Nina can capture in a single utterance so she can get the users’ words to give an answer. She can also do a transaction for the users by extracting content, context and meaning from a request to ensure faster result in a fewer steps. Nina also teaches the users so you can learn the most of your virtual assistant through talking, typing or tapping.

According to Nuance’s press release, Nina is a pre-made personal assistant persona that combines Nuance’s speech recognition system, text to speech, voice biometrics and natural language understanding technology hosted in the cloud to deliver “an interactive user experience that not only understands what is said, but also can identify who is saying it.”

Do you think Nina can damage Siri and other voice recognition software for Smartphones? Here is a quick video for Nina.