Tag - Assistant
Google is altering the way it performs voice search queries to take on Siri and other competitors, becoming more conversational and assistant-like, with the upgraded Google Voice Search renamed Google Assistant. At the same time, it is attempting to fend off dedicated assistant devices, like the Amazon Echo and Alexa, confirming the rumors by announcing Google Home, a similar network-connected speaker device the company expects to ship later this year.
It's not fair to expect greatness from a $1 app. However, all this one manages to do is make you wish even more that Apple would bring Siri to the the Mac -- and maybe wonder if there are reasons why it hasn't. For Awa 1.2 aims to be the kind of voice control that Siri is for iOS, and as yet is not for OS X. It aims to be this, and it feels like the start of something that may grow and improve, but right now it just doesn't work.
There were intelligent assistants on iPhone before Siri, and there are now many of them on every phone, but Siri is the Hoover or Coca-Cola of them. It is the one you're talking about when you refer to speaking to your phone and getting sarky comments back. It's the one that has gone the further to making this Star Trek-like technology mainstream.
There must've been a day, perhaps even one specific hour, in which everything changed for the idea of Siri-like digital assistants at Microsoft. Up to this particular coffee break, Microsoft derided Siri as something nobody would ever use, and anyway it's just marketing hype. After washing up the mugs, it became the Microsoft derided Siri as not being as great as its own version, Cortana. Microsoft has done well with that impression: you expect Cortana to be better. Now Cortana 1.2.1 is on iOS, and we can see for ourselves. Short version: shrug.
Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant competing with Siri and Google Voice Search, is being made available on other mobile platforms than Windows Mobile for the first time. Following after a period of testing, Cortana is now downloadable on iOS with Android to follow later today and CyanogenOS support set to start from later this month, with the United States and China the initial launch countries that Microsoft is making the app available within.
Facebook is working on its own virtual assistant, usable within Facebook Messenger, according to a report. The social network is allegedly looking to compete with Siri, Google Now, and Cortana with a new assistant internally called "Moneypenny," a reference to the iconic secretary in the James Bond film franchise, though unlike its main competitors, Facebook is opting for more of a "concierge" approach, as well as focusing more on allowing users to acquire goods and services.
BlackBerry will include its own virtual assistant in a future version of the company's mobile operating system, the smartphone manufacturer has revealed. Taking its cue from Siri, Google Now, and Cortana, BlackBerry Assistant will recognize commands via voice recognition and entered text, and will be able to perform simple tasks such as searching e-mail archives or setting appointments, to more elaborate requests.
Microsoft will use data from Foursquare in its rumored virtual assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, thanks to a $15 million investment in the company, according to a report. The location data gleaned from Foursquare will apparently be put to use in "Cortana," a virtual assistant named after the artificial intelligence character from the Halo series of games.
Microsoft may be working on its own virtual assistant, in the same vein as Apple's Siri and Google Now. App listings that appeared in leaked screenshots for the next Windows Phone operating system release showed one item marked as "zCortana," something that is said to be a voice-controlled assistant that can automatically learn from its user.
Apparent new leaks have suggested Google is developing a very broad, multi-platform alternative to Siri. So far called Assistant, the concept TechCrunch saw would translate Google's search content into a "personalization layer" that would understand the relationships between data points. A voice-based recognition engine would, like Apple's system, focus on returning a key useful result or accomplishing a task, not just pushing a raw list of results.