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Motorola Touchless Control app update allows voice PIN unlocking

12/15, 7:48pm

Read-out PIN can unlock Moto X, Droid Ultra, Mini, Maxx

Motorola has updated its Touchless Control app with more voice commands, amid other changes. The app, available as an update through Google Play for compatible Motorola devices running Android KitKat, introduces the potentially-insecure option of verbally providing your security PIN to the smartphone in order to unlock it.

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Siri edges out Google Now in natural-language assistant shootout

12/11, 1:36am

Google wins on 'most improved,' Siri gains upper hand on OS commands

An annual shootout between Google's Google Now and Apple's Siri voice-assisted virtual assitants conducted by Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray has resulted in a virtual tie, with both services receiving the same overall grade. Siri barely edged out Google Now by virtual of its better integration with OS commands -- an advantage that comes with the program's deep OS integration -- but both programs got the same overall grade (C+) and percentage of questions correct (79 percent).

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Amazon acquires text-to-speech software provider Ivona

01/24, 10:35am

Ivona already provides vocal functions for Kindle Fire tablets

Amazon has announced its acquisition of Ivona, a company that has specialized in text-to-speech technology for the last 10 years. The deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, sees Amazon take control of the firm and software that provides the text-to-speech functions for the Kindle Fire, as well as the tablet's Voice Guide and Explore By Touch functionality.

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Apps: Contour, FTP Maker, iVox

02/24, 8:45pm

Patent Grabber, Tetris

  • Contour 1.1 ($50) is a story development tool that can help with the process of turning a movie idea into a full outline. The software uses a fill-in the-blanks approach where the user is asked series of questions on topics like loglines, the protagonist's growth and the beats to be used in each of four acts. The update has added new sample content and allows users to enter Contour XML files form the File menu. Version 1.1 also includes several small interface enhancements and bug fixes. [Download - 4.6MB]

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  • T-Mobile 3G network initially voice only

    05/01, 1:45am

    T-Mobile 3G voice only

    T-Mobile's impending unveiling of its 3G network will reportedly be voice only initially, with data communications to follow later. The news comes in a note received by Engadget, which goes contrary to most competing providers. Cellular companies such as Cingular, Verizon, and Sprint all have their own 3G network segments that either went up as data card-only, or as a simultaneous release of both data and voice services.

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    Yahoo Messenger 7 adds phone, SMS, voicemail, more

    03/26, 1:00am

    Yahoo Messenger 7 for Mac

    Yahoo today announced a new version of Yahoo Messenger for Mac that introduces a number of new audio and voice capabilities. Users can now place PC-to-PC calls, as well as Phone Out/In, with a full voice message and SMS service on the Mac. By creating a Phone In account, Yahoo will provide users with a telephone number that they can be reached at from a standard phone, starting at $2.50 per month, and is available in France, the UK and US.

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    Nintendo: Wii voice chat possible, no VC online

    12/14, 3:30pm

    Wii voice chat coming?

    Nintendo's Wii console may eventually get some form of voice chat, the company's American president says. Speaking during a conference call today, Reggie Fils-Aime explained that there is nothing technically stopping the Wii from doing voice in online play; it is only a matter of Nintendo mustering the will and money to support it. "...what it comes down to is finalizing the peripheral," he noted. "I would not be surprised to see that capability come to this system." Voice chat is one current advantage of Microsoft's Xbox 360, which comes bundled with a headset and allows sending delayed messages in addition to in-game conversation.

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