Google Assistant Lets Device Makers Create Custom Actions
Google today introduced new Custom Device Actions for Google Assistant that will give devices native functionality specific to their hardware. Custom Device Actions build on the Assistant's existing Actions tool for issuing specific commands. Google says, for example, washing machines that include Google Assistant will let owners ask the machine to activate specific wash cycles simply by asking. Google is showcasing some of these new customized actions at the South by Southwest Interactive festival in Austin this week, including a machine that sorts socks and a beer-ordering system. Google isn't stopping there. Assistant is gaining more functionality. For example, people will be able to subscribe to notifications via Actions. For example, Assistant can alert people to changes in stock prices in real time, or help them subscribe and then listen to Forbes' quote of the day. Moving forward, Google Assistant includes better media playback controls. Actions will support media playback on speakers and Android phones, meaning people will be able to pause or replay audio with simple voice requests. When using a phone, Actions will display a media player when listening to mediation sessions, relaxing sounds, or clips from TV shows. For example, Google says the new Daily Show Action lets people listen to the latest show and control playback via voice commands. Last, Assistant gains access to more brand-based Actions. Brands that have added the ability to interact via voice queries include American Idol, The Mindfulness App, and more. People will be able to launch and control these apps and/or experiences via Google Assistant on their home speaker or phone. Google says these new Actions for Google Assistant are rolling out over the next few days.
Apple Says iOS 12 Will Be Faster, Work Better On Older iPhones
Jun 4, 2018
Apple today announced iOS 12, its next-generation platform for the iPhone and iPad. Apple says it spent time improving the performance of the operating system, which in claims will work well on iPhones and iPads that went on sale as far back as 2013.
Alcatel Adds Fingerprint Reader to Idol 4S, Selling Bundle for $350
Jul 13, 2016
Alcatel today announced launch details for the Idol 4S phone. The company added a fingerprint sensor to the US variant of the phone, a feature not included when the Idol 4S was first announced in February.
Apple Overhauls Clips App to Take Advantage of iPhone X TrueDepth Camera
Nov 9, 2017
Apple today released an updated version of its Clips video application with new and fun tools to improve both the experience of using the app and the end results. The most exciting addition is Selfie Scenes, which takes advantage of the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X to place the user inside a 360-degree, animated scene when recording selfies.
Cricket to Carry Alcatel Idol 4 with Virtual Reality Goggles
Jul 19, 2016
Cricket Wireless today announced plans to sell the Alcatel Idol 4 beginning next month. The Idol 4 is the smaller brother of the Idol 4S.