Google Search App Understands More Natural-Language Questions
Google today said its mobile search app is better able to grasp the meaning of requests thanks to new language-recognition techniques. Google is now breaking down queries into smaller pieces to understand the semantics behind individual phrases so it can assess the intent behind the larger question. Google says breaking down the requests in this way lets it "traverse the Knowledge Graph much more reliably to find the right facts and compose a useful answer." Google says it is able to build on this to answer ever more complex requests. Voice search already understands superlatives (tallest, shortest), but now recognizes how dates play a role in determining answers and how things relate to one another in time. For example, it is able to put these together to answer questions such as "Who was the U.S. President when the Angels won the World Series?" Google said the improved voice search will reach the Android and iOS mobile search apps in updates over the next few days. Google Search is free to download from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store.
Google Brings Q&A Feature to Maps and Search
Google today said it is adding a question-and-answer tool to Google Maps and Google Search for Android devices. Users need only search for and open business listings within Maps or Search to see the Q&A feature, which taps into data provided by Google Local Guides and others.
Google Search App Can Be Used to Open, Interact with Other Apps
Google has updated the main search application for Android devices and expanded its ability to use voice commands with other installed applications. For example, users can say things like, "Ok Google, Shazam this song," or "Ok Google, listen to NPR" and it will do exactly that.
Google Adjusts Google Now Cards and Search
Google has updated the appearance of its Google Now and Google Search tools on Android devices to match the company's new design motif. First and foremost, the apps adopt the new logo and font changes Google made earlier this week.
Google Search App Gains Tappable Shortcuts
Google today said an update to its mobile search app should make it quicker and easier to find basic information via tappable shortcuts that are positioned underneath the search box. The shortcuts let people perform instant searches for a variety of items, including entertainment, sports, weather, food, news, and more.
SoundHound Releases Hound Voice Assistant to Compete with Siri, Cortana, Google Now
SoundHound has made a voice assistant of its own available to Android and iOS devices in the hopes of providing an alternate to Google-, Apple-, and Microsoft-made assistants. Hound works similarly to Google Now, Siri, and Cortana in that it listens to natural language voice requests and performs select actions in response.