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Google Now currently getting updated with a more human-like voice

Posted: , by Paul K.

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Google Now currently getting updated with a more human-like voice
If there is one thing that the Google Now voice assistant is noticeably lacking in, when compared to Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana, it is the obviously robotic voice. The Google-created little helper is not only noticeably less chatty, it's words and phrases also sound canned, tacked together, and often with an inhuman quality to their intonation – something that the competitors' assistants are much less guilty of.

Well, this may be changing as we speak. Users have noticed that their Android smartphones have started replying with a different female voice as of late, sounding much more fluid and human-like in its forming of sentences. It appears that Google has silently updated the assistant, and if you have automatic Text-to-Speech engine updates enabled, chances are you have the new voice, too. Otherwise, you can do it manually from Settings → Language and Input → Text-to-Speech options.

So far, it seems the only updated voice is the English (US) one, so you will have to switch to it if you want to hear the change. It is unknown whether other languages are being worked on, unfortunately. Check out the video below for a quick comparison between how Google Now used to sound versus how it does now.

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posted on 23 Mar 2016, 06:07

1. gaming64 (Posts: 234; Member since: 22 Mar 2016)

Now I'm seriously worried about the human future.

posted on 23 Mar 2016, 09:13

13. ibend (Posts: 6675; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

now open google and ask it to show "japanese humanoid robot"

posted on 23 Mar 2016, 06:26 14

2. kevv2288 (Posts: 161; Member since: 30 Jul 2015)

Google now voice has sounded pretty human like for over a year or more now. Siri is the one that sounds robotic. Have you seen the recent att commercial?

posted on 23 Mar 2016, 06:56

6. monoke (Posts: 749; Member since: 14 Mar 2015)

OK I think I get ur point now... No wait, lost it. One more time please? ;)

posted on 23 Mar 2016, 07:13 12

7. tedkord (Posts: 14123; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

Seriously? Google Now has a much less robotic voice than Siri. It has since the beginning.

posted on 23 Mar 2016, 08:51 2

11. androidwindows (Posts: 211; Member since: 04 Oct 2014)

Ikr...who wrote this article again...?

posted on 23 Mar 2016, 10:07

17. bucky (Posts: 3134; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)

what are you guys smoking? Seriously even a fanboy should be able to recognize the difference, Otherwise google wouldnt have bothered updating.

Dont get me wrong, google now is much better than Siri in many ways but quality of voice was certainly not one of them.

posted on 23 Mar 2016, 10:15 1

18. MrElectrifyer (banned) (Posts: 3960; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)

"Otherwise google wouldnt have bothered updating."

Right, 'cause google doesn't improve on current technology regardless if someone else has done so -_-

posted on 23 Mar 2016, 07:58 10

8. senseiJ (Posts: 165; Member since: 02 May 2015)

Tbh Siri is less useful than Google Now.

posted on 23 Mar 2016, 08:52 4

12. androidwindows (Posts: 211; Member since: 04 Oct 2014)

...And sounds more robotic as well.

posted on 23 Mar 2016, 08:25

9. Macflyer (Posts: 11; Member since: 23 Mar 2016)

Cortana still might be the best. But Google Now seems more versatile. I enjoy both. The only function I used Siri for was setting alarms.

posted on 23 Mar 2016, 09:46

14. catze86 (Posts: 731; Member since: 07 Dec 2015)

Hairless Monkey voice... hehehehe

posted on 23 Mar 2016, 09:53 1

16. MrElectrifyer (banned) (Posts: 3960; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)

Uhm, WTF has iPhonearena been listening to? Google Now never sounded any more robotic on my OnePlus One than Siri on my iPhone, and Cortana, as natural as it may sound, it's still in beta compared to both Siri and Google Now IMO.

When I first got Cortana on my OnePlus One via a Cyanogen OS update, it was a terrible experience. It won't recognize the hot word, it would randomly pick up the hot word from some background noise, and it sucked ass at recognizing my voice.

I thought that was probably just half-baked software for a competitor platform, until I experienced the exact same sh!t on my Surface Pro 2 after upgrading to Windows 10 Pro. Whereas Google Now, inside Chrome on my Surface Pro 2 and on my OnePlus One, recognizes every single word/number. Heck, sometimes it even recognizes what I meant to say when I'm expecting it to fail due to my throat going soar in the middle of a question. Didn't need to do any voice training nor customization (if that were even possible in Chrome), whereas even after doing that with Cortana, it still sucks ass.

For example, I asked Google Now in Chrome, "what is 57.85 + 89.76", and it did the search and read out to me "the answer is 147.61".

Cortana opened edge and did a bing search for "What is 57.6 miles plus it's 9 points?"

That's not even taking into account all the 24/7 spying on your e-mail/contacts/location/speech/writing/typing/bro​wsing habits cortana demands in order to do a simple voice search. I gain a LOT out of Google Voice search without the 24/7 Google Now cards spyware for the sake of "personalization". Disabled cortana 'cause there's currently no benefit, just spyware.

Ps. If you're using a Windows 10 device and agree that "personalization" should be optional like it is in Google Now, vote for the feedback here (you'll need Edge to open WIndows feedback links):


posted on 24 Mar 2016, 16:09 1

19. dmsrfl (Posts: 50; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)

I think it's hilarious that iPhone arena seems to think that the female voice on Google now (eve before the update) sounds more robotic than Siri. Everytime I hear Siri talking I wonder why Apple hasn't changed her to sound more human. You writers must be tone deaf.

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