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Project Alias hacks your smart speaker so it’s only listening when you want

There’s something kind of magical about saying “Alexa” or “OK Google” to get a weather forecast, recipe, navigation directions, or to play music or control your smart home appliances. There’s also something a little creepy about it since you need to have an always-listening, internet-connected speaker in your house to do those things. Sure, Google […]

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Clarity is a touchscreen Android speaker with Alexa and Google Assistant (crowdfunding)

Looking for a smart home speaker, but can’t decide between an Amazon Echo with the Alexa voice service or a Google Home with Google Assistant? Why not both? At least that seems to be the thinking behind the Clarity Speaker. It’s basically a familiar-looking speaker with a 7 inch touchscreen display and Android software. But […]

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Google Assistant begins rollout for Android 6.0 and later

As promised, Google is now rolling out Google Assistant to devices running Android 6.0 or later. Up until now the new version of Google’s digital assistant software had only been available on Pixel smartphones, the Google Home smart speaker and in the Google Allo chat app. In some ways, Google Assistant is just a souped […]

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Google Assistant for everyone (running Android 6.0 or later)

Google Assistant is finally going to be widely available. The software lets you interact with Google apps and services using natural language. But up until recently it’s only been available in a few ways: through the Google Allo chat app, on Google Pixel smartphones, and via the Google Home smart speaker. Now Google says Assistant is […]

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Google Maps: use “OK Google” voice commands just when you’re driving

The Google app for Android lets you use your voice to search the web, set reminders, open apps, and do a lot of other things. You can use it by tapping the microphone icon on your phone, but if you enable “OK Google” hotword detection, you can also interact with your phone without ever touching […]

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What are the coolest features your smartphone has… that you don’t use?

These days you can ask most smartphones questions as if you were speaking to another person, use your phone as a GPS navigation device, tap a button on your phone to instantly get contextual information about whatever’s on the screen, and do a whole bunch of other cool things. But a recent study from Creative Strategies suggesting […]

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Google removes “OK Google” hotword from Chrome for Windows, Mac, and Linux

Google seems to be doing a little spring cleaning in the Chrome web browser. While the company’s been adding features to Chrome for years, the latest version of Chrome for Windows, Mac, and Linux is missing a few features that had been available in earlier versions. We already knew Google was killing the notification center. […]

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OK Google, Listen to NPR: Google launches custom voice actions for Android apps

Google is letting Android app developers create custom voice actions for their apps, letting users new ways to launch and use those apps with a voice command. So how does it work? If you’ve got the NPR One app installed on your phone, just say “OK Google, listen to NPR” and the app will launch and […]

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Trusted Voice lets you unlock your Android phone with “OK Google”

Hate having to enter a PIN or swipe a pattern every time you want to unlock your phone? Google’s Smart Lock feature for Android gives you a few ways to disable those security measures when certain conditions are met. Trusted Places detects your location and lets you bypass the PIN/pattern screen when you’re at home, […]

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“OK Google” can now work on any unlocked Chromebook (kinda)

The Google Chrome web browser and Chrome OS have supported “OK Google” hotword detection for over a year. Just type chrome://flags into the location bar, find the experimental OK Google feature and click the enable button. Up  until recently this has only let you use your voice to search the web after opening a new tab. Now there’s a […]