Facebook Working On Its Own Voice-to-Text System
Facebook plans to add voice-to-text transcription to its Facebook Messenger application, said David Marcus, Facebook's vice president of messaging products. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Marcus said the company is already testing the system using machine-to-machine learning, though he declined to say when the feature might be added to the app. Facebook expects the feature to be popular across Asia and other regions where typing various languages on mobile devices is more of a chore. Apple, Google, and Microsoft already provide their own voice-to-text services, which are built into the iOS, Android, and Windows Phone operating systems, respectively. Marcus didn't say how Facebook's transcription service will differ from what's already available to consumers. Marcus said 500 million people use Messenger monthly and it hopes to grow that number to 1 billion. Marcus indicated Facebook is exploring ways to monetize Messenger, but the company wants to avoid advertising. Facebook also owns WhatsApp and Instagram, which have 700 million and 300 million monthly users, respectively. Facebook said it will monetize Messenger before WhatsApp. Facebook has an "ambitious" roadmap for Messenger, and will add other features over the course of the year.
Google Launches Multi-Purpose File-Wrangling App
Google today released the final version of Files Go, its new file-management app for Android. The app serves multiple purposes: it includes a file browser, local file transfer tool, and a tool to help free up storage on your phone.
Facebook Messenger for Android Wins Material Design
Facebook is pushing an update to its Messenger app for Android today that adopts Google's Material Design. Facebook Messenger chief David Marcus revealed the new version of Messenger on his personal Facebook page.
Microsoft Edge for Android and iOS Now Available to All
Microsoft today said its Edge browser for Android and iOS has exited preview and is now available as a final, public application. Microsoft Edge for mobile devices ports over popular desktop features, include Favorites, Reading List, New Tab Page, and Reading View.
Facebook Testing Messenger-Based Personal Assistant
Facebook is trialling a smart personal assistant that will live inside its Messenger application and complete various tasks for users. For now, the assistant is called Facebook M and Facebook claims it will be superior to competing products.