From Apple's Siri to Microsoft's Cortana and Amazon's Alexa, virtual assistants rapidly on the rise — and now Google's virtual helpmate has joined the race with a wide range of capabilities, all of which can be accessed after waking the assistant with the words "OK Google." Those wondering "what are all the "OK Google" commands?" need not fret; an impressive new website lists every single command that you can ask Google's voice assistant. The index, compiled by self-proclaimed Google and Android geek Kristijan Ristovski, contains approximately 150 commands and over a thousand variations that are sure to excite technophiles everywhere.

Linked to the most popular search engine in the world, you can ask "OK Google" anything. It can also perform tasks like making a reservation, setting reminders, pulling up directions or a flight's status, and controlling Google Home devices. When compared to other virtual assistants, Google repeatedly comes out on top, according to a recent analysis done by Business Insider, performing tasks and fielding queries with accuracy and ease.

Those with Android smartphones can access Google's voice commands by opening a Google search and tapping the microphone icon in the right hand side of the search bar. Those using Google's smartphone Pixel, which was released last fall, have the Google Assistant built right into their device, and can simply hold down the home button to access the service. And if you have a Google Home, all you have to do to use it is say "OK Google" and take it from there.

Here are some of the most useful commands from "OK Google"; for a complete list of "OK Google" functions, check out Ristovski's project.

1Open Any App Or Website


When it comes to device control, the Google Assistant is a powerful tool. Whether you want to play music off of Spotify or cruise the message boards of Reddit, opening "OK Google" and uttering a few simple voice commands will quickly get you where you want to go. You can also use the Google Assistant to change the brightness or volume on your phone.

2Take A Picture Or Selfie


Get a perfectly posed picture without having to touch a single button by activating your camera using Google's voice commands. Line up your shot, and let Google do the rest hands free.

3Define And Translate Words Or Phrases


While traveling, "OK Google" can serve as a pocket guide, completing handy voice commands such as "How to say 'can I have water' in Spanish" or "Translate 'what time is it' in Chinese." The assistant can also quickly define words or technical terms, so voracious readers need not pause mid-chapter to look something up ever again.

4Set Alarms And Timers


You can tell Google to "Wake me up at 7:00 AM" or set a timer for 10 minutes, and the personal assistant will access your device's clock function immediately. That means no more worrying that you turned off the alarm or accidentally hit the wrong button before going to sleep (and no more excuses for being late to work)!

5Add Reminders And Make Notes


Add to your grocery list or jot down an idea for your novel with the "OK Google" voice command. Somethings you really don't want to forget — like remembering to book a flight or send a card for your sister's birthday, and setting reminders and controlling your calendar has never been easier.

6Perform Math And Conversions

Whether you're measuring out ingredients for a recipe or figuring out an exchange rate on a trip abroad, with Google, there are no calculators needed.

7Contact Friends And Family With Ease


Now you can ask Google to review and draft text message or find and call contacts without your keyboard.

Find out more cool functions for Google's Assistant here!


Source : https://www.bustle.com/p/what-are-all-the-ok-google-commands-this-website-lists-every-single-thing-google-assistant-can-do-38002

Categorized in Search Engine


  • Smartphones changed the way Google thinks about search
  • Difficulty in entering queries accelerated voice, and search feeds
  • The next big thing in search could be chat, or it could be device based

With mobile phones becoming the primary source of Internet access for most of us (and for many, the only source), it's no surprise that Google's focus when it comes to Search has also come to rest on our small pocket computers. Shashidhar Thakur, Vice President Engineering at Google, was visiting India recently and caught up with Gadgets 360 to talk about some of the things that Google is thinking about, when it comes to search.

What is the future of search going to look like in the time of augmented reality, and will chatbots replace search queries? Thakur says that it's too early to say what's going to happen in these cases, though he adds that big changes are coming, likening it to what happened with mobile phones in the last ten years.

"When the switch to mobile happened," Thakur explains, "it brought about some changes. For example, data becomes more expensive, and slower, so you have to focus more on things like answers, quicker results right away. Also, typing becomes harder, and so voice was necessary. The switch to mobile also showed the importance of the search feed, that tries to understand what you would be looking for, and show you that before you have to even enter a query."

This has, he explains, been particularly relevant in India, where entering queries for searches in local languages can be a barrier. "Keyboards are really designed for the Roman alphabet, so we've worked on improving keyboards, but voice makes a big difference," says Thakur. Another feature he's particularly proud of is Tabbed Search, which presents bilingual search results, so you can raise a query in English, and still get answers in your own language if you prefer.

google search hindi

Apart from languages, he also highlights the work Google has been doing to improve usability across all kinds of network conditions, another feature that was developed with India in mind.

"We can deliver highly compressed results, Search Lite loads faster, and consumes less data," says Thakur. "Offline search lets you raise a query, and gets you the answers once you're connected. These are all things we learn and build for India, but the learnings are also transferrable, and they've been great additions around the world."

A search feed

One of these things is the search feed Thakur talks about. The idea behind it, as he explained, was to engage the user even when they don't know they need to look for something, to simplify usage on mobiles. That sounds a lot like Google Now, Thakur's previous team, and it's something that he says remains important even today, despite there now being a number of convenient ways to enter a query.

"Content should be pushed to you," he says, "because you may not be actively looking for something, but there is going to be information that you wanted. For example, we're in India, the Union Budget was just announced. It's something people in the region would be interested in, but you're doing something else. And what we can do is surface interesting results and send them to you with a notification, that is quite useful."

google now story google

"Of course, on a PC, you're already 'on', it's not that hard for you to look at something if you want," he adds. "But your phone is with your 24*7, you're not on the phone all the time. That's why the feed becomes even more important there."

Of course, to make the feed more relevant, you need to give Google access to your data. But Thakur points out, the data collection is very transparent, and easy to opt out from. "Even if you opt out of everything, we can still offer you some coarse grained information like the budget, of course," he says.

But with access to more data, Google can pull together something like your airplane tickets, a good GPS signal can tell it where you are, navigation data can tell it how you would get to the airport, and live traffic data can tell you how much time it would actually take - so Google can put all of this together to send a notification saying, "Leave now, if you want to catch your flight!"

"It's a complicated system with a lot of different data that has to come together, and depending on the availability of the data there can be some challenges, but we get a lot of positive feedback from the users," says Thakur.

Graceful degradation

Of course, as he points out, there's a lot of different types of data being considered, and some of it, such as the GPS, is linked to your phone's hardware. Does that mean that there's a difference in the kind of Search experience someone with an entry-level phone would have, versus someone who is carrying a high-end flagship?


"It does make a difference, as various things can deteriorate," says Thakur. "The phone might not have enough processing power, it could go into low power mode, the location data might not be very accurate, and the phone might not handle app swapping so well."

Because of this, people who use entry-level phones - the bulk of the population, as the price of a smartphone in India averages $100 (approximately Rs. 6,700) - are likely not getting as good an experience as people who have high-end phones, though as Thakur points out, the baseline has been improving steadily, and even low-end phones are getting more and more capable.

"At the same time, we're also trying to offer what we call graceful degradation," he adds. "So for example, the Search Lite experience might not be as rich as the full Search experience, but it still gives people the information and answers they are looking for."

What's next?

As Thakur explains it, text and voice search are simply different entry points to Search, but not fundamentally different. On the other hand, the switch to mobile mattered a lot more because it changed the context in which we were engaging with search. Today, he sees this playing out in two ways - virtual and physical. By virtual, we're referring to Chatbots, which he says could well become the norm for Search.

google assistant io 2016

"The Google Assistant isn't just an entry point, but also changes the output too, as it often shows just a single result," he says. "It also brings other things, it tells you jokes, and more, it brings a personality. As a result, you also engage more with search, and there's a context to it, a history, so it's going to be very interesting to see how it plays out over time."

Thakur doesn't believe that Search will become only chatbots - "there will be times when you want an answer, times when you want to interact with an agent in a more personable way, and times when you need to do deep research," he says - but he's of the opinion that it could grow to become very important.

But there's also the question of hardware. Google Home, along with other devices such as the Amazon Echo are part of a burgeoning new category of products that are "speakers with intelligence". And these could well change the face of search as well, in much the same way mobiles did, says Thakur.

"Just in the way it's located, these devices change the context of search, how you're engaging with search," says Thakur. "So for example, if it's kept in your kitchen, you might use Google Home to look for lots of recipes, in your living room you might be thinking more about music. If there's one of these in your car, the context changes again, and you're now much more likely to search for directions, and local needs, like coffee shops nearby. So the form factor defines the interaction."

That said, much like with Chatbots, Thakur says only time will tell how these are going to change search. On the other hand, the one thing that he has a fairly definite answer is augmented reality and virtual reality. "These are going to be real game-changers, and they're going to be future platforms, but they're not here yet," he says. "Right now the focus is going to be on getting the graphics right, getting the hardware optimised, and the early adopter distribution. So all of that is going to be sorted out first. Then you'll have services like games, videos and so on, and it's only at that point that search enters the picture. It's going to be big, but it's not the next thing, it's still in development."

Author : Gopal Sathe

Source : http://gadgets.ndtv.com/internet/features/ar-vr-chatbots-what-the-future-of-google-search-could-look-like-1656818

Categorized in Search Engine

Google Assistant vs. Siri looks into how well each program answer questions faster and more accurately in a test performed by asking simple to more complex questions. Moreover, Google Assistant is designed to be more than just a voice search with Google opening up the "Actions on Google" API to developers in order to enable third party support similar to Amazon's Alexa.

Google Assistant in the Pixel is compared to Apple's Siri, which is now being integrated into the MacBook and not just limited to smaller handsets. A test was performed by a YouTube popular figure, Marques Brownlee, who compared Google Assistant vs. Siri by simultaneously asking questions

The test began with a simple question progressing to more complex ones requiring conversations. With simple questions, Siri is faster by a split-second, but the Google Assistant offered a more accurate, detailed and relevant answer.

Moreover, the Brownlee test shows that the Google Assistant is able to hold better conversations and has even revealed an understanding of context used in the question. This is why the Google Assistant has outperformed Siri, which ignores context and merely gets information from Bing and other search engines.

The Google Assistant is able to answer better than Siri because Google has put in new and enhanced Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Google Assistant can gather information about the context behind the search to answer relevantly, earning its true role of an assistant, according to xda.

The Google Assistant can even produce better one-liners than Siri, which is known for its ability to crack jokes. However, the Google Assistant has its limitations for it can only respond to questions if the answers can be gathered from simplistic Google search queries.

When the questions become even more complex, the Google Assistant will bring the user to the search engine page were the user will have to make searches manually. When this happens, The Google Assistant just like Siri appears to be nothing more than a simplistic voice search mechanism, according to The Next Web.

Hence, Google is launching the "Actions on Google," which is a platform for developers to create conversational answers to queries to the Google Assistant. By tapping into third party developers, the Google Assistant will benefit from third party plug-ins especially for complex nearly-impossible to answer questions.

Google may be rolling out the "Actions on Google" API this month and developers with API can join and participate. Rumors say that Google is now working with Spotify, Uber, CNN and OpenTable, which could further put the Google Assistant way beyond eyond Apple's Siri in terms of providing accurate and more relevant answer.

Auhtor : yasi bilangel

Source : http://www.universityherald.com/articles/54745/20161212/google-assistant-vs-siri-faster-more-relevant-answers-voice-search.htm

Categorized in Search Engine

Google Now is a great feature on Android and iOS but it's hard to get your head round. Here's how to use Google Now and the new Google Assistant.

Google Now is a feature you might not know you already have on your smartphone or tablet, or even have access to. It's a really handy source of information so here's where we showyou how to use Google Now and what it can do. It's now part of the Google Assistant too.

How to use the Google Assistant

Google Assistant is the new way to interact with Google and is essentially a supped up version of Google Now. It’s the same search engine and knowledge graph underneath but with a new interface which is like a message thread.

Who has iPhone 7 in stock? Find out where to order an iPhone 7 today. Click here.

For the time being its exclusive to Google’s new Pixel phones but will be available for Android in the form of an app in the future.

One of the main ideas behind having a conversational style of interaction is not so you can simply enjoy chatting to Google, but the importance of context. For example, if you’re talking to someone about a possible gig and want to go for some food beforehand it will know that the two relate to each other and give you helpful information like how far apart they are. 

Context also goes as far as to whatever’s on your screen like Google Now on Tap so try long pressing the home button on the Pixel phone and swiping up – you’ll automatically get relevant information.

Google Assistant on Pixel XL

You can use the Google Assistant for all kinds of things, many of which are existing commands like setting an alarm or creating a reminder. It goes further though so you can get it to remember a bike lock combination if you’re forgetful.

A bit like Siri (Apple’s version) you can ask the Google Assistant for a joke, poems or even games. It will talk to you about the weather and what you’re day looks like, too.

Sadly not everything Google touts as features are available in the UK so we’ve been unable to do things like book a table at a restaurant or order an Uber ride. It can get confusing at times what you can and can’t do so either just attempt it or ask ‘what can you do’.  

The Google Assistant is personalised like Google Now and will be more helpful if it knows things about you like where your office is or what team you support. It will also, Google says, get better over time as it learns.

What is Google Now?

Google Now is a service which provides you with information. By getting to know you and using other information like your location, it will serve up data which it thinks you'll want. The general idea is that it will display things which you are going to search for, therefore saving you the hassle of actually conducting said search.

As Google puts it, "See helpful cards with information that you need throughout your day, before you even ask."

Information is displayed in cards so you will likely see a card for a weather forecast and this might show information for different locations like home and work. The more you use Google Now, the more it can help you out with everything from sports scores, stocks and shares, suggested articles, flight information and more.

The service will also provide notifications: for example, it might tell you of a delay to you daily commute or remind you that you need to leave the office if you're going to arrive on time for a meeting. We'll explain how to get the most out of Google Now below.

On which devices can I use Google Now?

Although Google Now is primarily an Android feature for both smartphones and tablets, the firm has made is available for iOS, too. In the same way in which you can get apps like Google Maps and Gmail for Apple products, Google Now is on the App Store for iPhones and iPads running iOS 7 or later.

On Android, you'll need a smartphone or tablet running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or later for Google Now to work.

Google Now iPhone and iPad

How to open and access Google Now

Google Now is part of the Google Search app which is likely to be installed on your Android device already. However, Google Now won't start showing you cards unless you opt into the service. To do this, tap on the Google search bar which is probably already on your homescreen and follow the instructions.

Once you've opted in, you can open Google Now by swiping upwards from the bottom of the screen and selecting the Google options (some phones have other items in this hidden menu).

Alternatively, you can install the Google Now launcher which is essentially the user interface from the Nexus 5 which puts the service one swipe away from the main homescreen. On iOS you're only option is to simply open the app.

Google Now access

What can Google Now show?

We've already talked about some of the cards which Google Now can show so let's take an in-depth look at everything which is currently on offer. We say currently as Google occasionally adds functionality.

Google splits the available cards into three categories: Daily management, Stay connected and Location. We'll look at all three below.


Daily management

This section makes up core of Google Now and accounts for a large majority of the cards that it will show – although some require access to Gmail, calendar, Google+, web history or location (or a combination) to work.

The most common card is weather which will show you the forecast for current location and work or home depending on where you are. Other core cards include traffic and events.

Here's a full list of the daily management cards which might pop up: Activity summary, next appointment, weather, traffic, flights, hotels, restaurant reservations, events, packages, friend's birthday and your birthday.

Google Now daily management cards

Stay connected

This section is about keeping you informed of the things you're interested in and includes sports, shares and research topics (pretty much anything you google). In the settings you can choose which ones you want to see and which teams you follow. If you don't want Google Now to spoil the score then make sure you adjust the settings for the sports cards.

Google Now connected cards

Location-based cards

As we mentioned earlier Google Now can provide you with information specific to where you are. If you switch location services on then you'll get cards detailing places (bars, restaurants etc), nearby attractions and nearby photo spots.

If you're abroad, it will also show you cards for translation, currency and the time back home.  

Google Now location cards

How to use Google Now: Interaction, customisation and voice commands

We already explained how to open and access Google Now. So once you've open it, a vertical list of cards will be displayed which you can scroll though – pull down to refresh the list. Any card which you're done with can be removed by swiping it to either side.

All cards have three dots in the top right corner which you can click to inform Google Now if that card type or subject area is interesting to you. At the very bottom is also three dots which will take you to the main settings menu for Google Now.

Google Now buttons

However, tap the magic wand icon at the bottom to customise things like your important places, sports teams, stocks and other things. The remaining hand icon on the left is for reminders.

Google Now voice commands: OK Google

As well as simply viewing the cards, customising them and swiping them away, you can interact with Google Now by voice. There's a search bar at the top which you can type in or hit the microphone icon to start a voice command.

Once you've activated a voice search, which you do by saying "Ok Google", you can ask a question and you'll be given a list of search results in card form. Where appropriate and possible, you'll be shown an information card at the very top.

Google Now voice command

As well as regular web searches, you can use Google Now as an assistant a bit like Siri on the iPhone. You can ask it to do all kinds of things, most of which you probably didn't know about. Below is a list of things you can say. This is not an exhaustive list, but includes the main commands:

•    Open (eg. pcadvisor.co.uk, BBC iPlayer app)
•    Take a picture/photo
•    Record a video
•    Set an alarm for…
•    Set a timer for…
•    Remind me to… (includes times and locations)
•    Make a note
•    Create a calendar event
•    What is my schedule for tomorrow?
•    Where's my package?
•    Find…
•    Call…
•    Text…
•    Send email to…
•    Post to…
•    Where is the nearest…?
•    Navigate to…
•    Directions to…
•    Where is…?
•    Show me my flight info
•    Where's my hotel?
•    What are some attractions around here?
•    How do you say [hello] in [Japanese]?
•    What is [100 pounts] in [dollars]?
•    What's the flight status of…?
•    Play some music (opens "I'm feeling lucky" radio station in Google Play Music)
•    Next Song / Pause Song
•    Play/watch/read… (content must be in Google Play library)
•    What's this song?
•    Do a barrel roll
•    Beam me up Scotty (audio response)
•    Make me a sandwich (audio response)
•    Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right (audio response)
•    Who are you? (audio response)
•    When am I? (audio response)

For more on using OK Google and the translation function, see How to use OK Google

Who has iPhone 7 in stock? Find out where to order an iPhone 7 today. Click here.

Source : pcadvisor

Categorized in Search Engine

Google's Pixel and Pixel XL have finally landed and both come with the fantastic Google Assistant.

The AI software is like Siri, but much smarter. It uses a so-called smart reply feature to offer what Google calls "appropriate, contextually aware smart suggestions for quick replies" and it learns how you prefer to reply, in order to tailor the responses to make them more personal.



This includes adding more options in the predictive text replies, or making more of spoken replies. 

How to get started with Google Assistant?

When you first set up your Pixel phone, you will be prompted to enable Google Assistant and it will guide you through registering your voice for the "OK Google" command. If you don't want to set this up at the start, the first time you try to activate Google Assistant you will be guided through the same setup process.

Alternatively, once it has been set up, you can retrain the device to learn your voice by going to the Google app, Settings, Voice and "OK Google" detection.

To access Google Assistant on the Pixel and Pixel XL, long Press on Home Button, so that a row of coloured dots appear, or say "OK Google."

You can switch between manually making selections and typing, or verbally using the Assistant.

When you open the Assistant, it will ask: "What can I help you with?" and it will show you a selection of options. Google Assistant uses a chat screen to encourage you to have a conversation with it. Example questions given by Google include: “How did the Olympics Start?” and ”what is your superpower?”

A number of answers, and follow-up questions, will appear in small bubbles below the initial answer. You can select an automated option – which will gradually become smarter and recognise how you prefer to respond – or you can say "OK Google" to enable voice controls.

You can switch between the two methods as much as you like.

Personalised Google Assistant replies

The Assistant is tailored to you, so it connects with your apps and tracks your location to help you get personalised advice.


For example, you can say: “Tell me about my day,” “show my photos of London”, “what is my next flight” or “when is my next appointment?” The answer to the flight question only works if you have an upcoming reservation in your Gmail account, though.

It should also be noted that Google requires a high level of access to your apps and accounts in order to serve these personalised responses. This has drawn criticism from privacy groups and access can be managed or revoked in Settings.

Elsewhere, by knowing your location, Google can give you localised answers to questions. Examples given include: “What’s the weather tonight?” and “show me sushi restaurants in Soho.”

Once a sushi restaurant has been found, you can ask Google Assistant follow-up questions such as: “Is Yoobi still open?” Followed by: “How long will it take to walk there from here?”

From there, Google Assistant can recognise context and will know that by “there,” you meant “Yoobi”,

Continuing with Google's example, you can say: “Text Victoria, ‘Have you eaten dinner yet?’” Once at the restaurant, you can also ask Google Assistant to translate the menu or ask specific questions about the dishes.

A pocket PA

Beyond restaurant recommendations and event or day planning, Google Assistant can act like a digital PA. This is where Google Assistant is more like Siri and Cortana. You can ask it to remind you to pick up milk, set an alarm, send a text or open an app.

Playing games with Google Assistant

Google Assistant it not just for serious, everyday tasks. It comes with built-in games and helps you search the web.

When used in Allo, Google Assistant lets you play an emoji quiz. On the Pixel devices, you can say “let’s play trivia” to open a multiplayer trivia game.

Google also said there are numerous Easter Eggs, similar to those found on the search engine, hidden within the Assistant. For example, try asking the Assistant what noise animals make.

Other examples use an integration with Google-owned YouTube to show videos.

During the launch event, Google demonstrated an integration with Open Table but this is a US-only feature at the moment.

Source : wired

Categorized in Science & Tech
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