Google generally doesn’t do as well when it builds “follower” products — think Google Plus or Allo. But there are other examples where Google has excelled with later entries (e.g., AdWords, Maps). Right now, Google Home is a follower product seeking to break out of Amazon Echo’s shadow. On paper, Google should win in this market. It has a larger developer ecosystem. And it has a better assistant. But Amazon is being very aggressive by innovating quickly and offering a dizzying array of devices at different price points. Amazon also has a more powerful sales channel. Overall, Amazon is out-innovating the rest of the “smart speaker” market at the moment. Amazon now has two devices with screens: Echo Show and the new Echo Spot. According to TechCrunch, Google is also working on a Home device with a touchscreen: Two sources confirm to TechCrunch that the Google device has been internally codenamed “Manhattan” and will have a similar … [Read more...] about Google’s ‘Manhattan project’: Home device with a screen to compete with Echo Show
Apple has switched back to using Google for their search results needs in both iOS and their Mac operating system over Spotlight search, TechCrunch reports. The “search the web” results you get in both search interfaces will no longer be pointing to Bing, but rather will show you results from Google. In 2014, Apple officially dropped Google results and switched to Bing. Google and Apple have a deal that’s been estimated to be worth $3 billion, and it is unclear if this is part of that deal or not. Here is a statement TechCrunch received from Apple: “Switching to Google as the web search provider for Siri, Search within iOS and Spotlight on Mac will allow these services to have a consistent web search experience with the default in Safari. We have strong relationships with Google and Microsoft and remain committed to delivering the best user experience possible.” Here is a screen shot of iOS showing YouTube results, and then the “Search Web” … [Read more...] about Apple switches back to Google search results for iOS & Mac
Earlier this morning Amazon and Microsoft announced that their virtual assistants will soon work together. Alexa devices will be able to access Cortana, and Cortana will be able to open Alexa: Alexa customers will be able to access Cortana’s unique features like booking a meeting or accessing work calendars, reminding you to pick up flowers on your way home, or reading your work email – all using just your voice. Similarly, Cortana customers can ask Alexa to control their smart home devices, shop on Amazon.com, interact with many of the more than 20,000 skills built by third-party developers, and much more. It’s an enlightened approach on the part of both companies. Alexa will benefit from Cortana’s general knowledge and web-search capabilities, as well as Office integration. Cortana gains distribution via Amazon hardware devices. It’s also consistent with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s vision to make Microsoft software tools available on rival … [Read more...] about Alexa and Cortana will soon work together, allowing each to access the other
Some searchers are complaining recently of the Google search reminder feature not working any more. The complaints are in the Google Web Search Help forums where people who actively use this reminder feature are saying it stopped working. I honestly didn't know you can search for [set a reminder] in Google to have Google remind you. But it does work for me:The users are saying this is not working for them and yes, they are logged into Google. The searcher said:In Chrome (on desktop or on android) the "set a reminder" feature no longer works. In the past after entering "set a reminder" in address/search box the new reminder box would appear where it used to be possible to set a reminder. Now it does not appear anymore: only google search results appear. However, it still works on google app or app's search box.Others complained as well but maybe it was a temporarily glitch.Either way, I am glad I discovered this feature, although I often use Apple Siri, Google Calendar or Slack … [Read more...] about Google Reminder Feature Bugs?
Americans love their “smart speakers” and they plan to buy more of them. That’s according to a recent, in-depth consumer study from NPR and Edison Research. The survey polled more than 1,600 respondents (equally divided between device owners and non-owners) and found that 76 percent of owners had Amazon Echo devices, while 16 percent had Google Homes; another 8 percent said they owned both. Just under 60 percent of respondents (58 percent) reported owning one device. However 24 percent had two and, interestingly, 18 percent had “three or more” smart speakers in their homes (this question goes to sheer number of devices vs. brand). However, 45 percent of the audience said they planned to buy another smart speaker. Smart speaker market share breakdown The report extrapolated smart speaker ownership to the US population as a whole (12+ years old) and asserts that 7 percent of Americans own at least one smart speaker. That suggests about 20 million smart … [Read more...] about NPR survey: Americans love their smart speakers, 42% call them ‘essential’