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Google Now scores true multi-language support, "Ok, Google!" now works from any screen

Posted: , by Peter K.

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Google Now scores true multi-language support,
The first day of Google I/O 2014 is well over, but what a day it was! Apart from making a panoply of thrilling announcements at the stage of Google I/O 2014 yesterday(unsurprisingly, we were mostly exhilarated about Android L!), Google also pushed a significant update to one of its most popular services, which will undoubtedly be the fundamental backbone of the Android Auto and the Android Wear platforms – Google Now.

The voice-recognition service already knows more than 50 languages, but thanks to the latest update, Google Now scored true multi-language support – this means that users can switch between up to 7 languages at any given moment and the voice assistant will still understand their queries. In order to make use of this multi-language trait, you'll need to preselect the desired secondary languages, and – voila! - it's done.

Additionally, users can launch Google Search with the aid of the "Ok, Google!" hotword from any screen, even from the lock screen (regardless if you have a PIN password or not). The only prerequisite is that the display of your device needs to be turned on.

The developer team behind Google Now also revealed some of the challenges that lie ahead of the voice assistant. According to Johann Schalkwyk, its lead software engineer, Google Now is gradual improving, but not out of the woods just yet. Some of the voice assistant's greatest weaknesses are its inability to recognize voices while loud ambient noises are present, as well as dialects. Child speech recognition is yet another department, in which Google Now needs to score more points in the future.

"Speech and input modalities are very difficult. They're learning to enunciate better; they don't always speak grammatically; they yell at the phone; they hyper-enunciate – 'DIE-no-saur'," Schalkwyk said.

Additionally, a so-called “far field environment” is another pretty important problem that the team behind Google Now has to solve. This problem regards the distance between the user's mouth and the microphone of the Google Now-enabled gadget – if said distance is greater than a few feet, the margin for error greatly increases.

If it hasn't arrived yet, don't worry – the update will probably make its way to your device soon.

source: CNET, Android Police via Reddit

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posted on 26 Jun 2014, 04:21 1

1. bagou01 (Posts: 22; Member since: 20 Nov 2013)

Since the update, google now won't connect anymore.. i get network error messags on both my N5 and N7 stock.
I even tried hard reset + partition cache wipe.... no solution, google now still won't connect...

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 06:04

8. NexusPhan (Posts: 632; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)

Are you running Google Play services 5.0?

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 06:05

9. bagou01 (Posts: 22; Member since: 20 Nov 2013)

i havnt received the update, however i tried by installing the apk, but didnt solve the issue

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 06:53

10. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

It's beta version, it'll have bugs for now.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 04:35

2. joey_sfb (Posts: 6533; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

Update not here yet! Maybe later.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 05:50

6. PeterK. (Posts: 314; Member since: 13 Nov 2013)

Don't worry, it'll come.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 04:49

3. uchihakurtz (Posts: 401; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)

I'm kinda curious, any of you use 'Ok Google' search thing that often to find this beneficial? What do you usually use it for? I only find the cards practical to look and use the search once in a while only.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 04:59

4. nomancool (unregistered)

atleast we dont have to tap the mic icon every time to do new search even in the app itself .. and its kind of helpful for one handed use.. we dont have to type anything or even touch the browser icon to go to any website or search and launch any app .. but one thing it need to do it is make it faster ..launching an app takes about 4 seconds (from google now) , while i can open any app from the drawer in 2 seconds

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 05:03

5. techspace (Posts: 1036; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)

actually, voice search is different from google now...google replies even if we don't activate google now, its only the cards that are a part of google now.
i agree with you, i think 'ok google' hotword would be much more useful if it works without requiring the screen to be on.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 06:03

7. timukh (Posts: 295; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

you need special hardware for that, else your battery will drain like a leaked bucket.. maybe they will comeup with something.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 07:29

11. nomancool (unregistered)

agree . but everything comes at a cost .. if we need features we have to sacrifice something .... or wait for better compatible hardware

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 10:09 1

13. techspace (Posts: 1036; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)

the special hardware is already there in nexus 5 and that's the reason why i am asking for it.
snapdragon 800 has the dedicated audio processing chip, that is the "special hardware" that you are talking about..

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 13:15

15. kryme (Posts: 382; Member since: 24 Oct 2013)

buy a moto x.....

posted on 27 Jun 2014, 04:41

16. techspace (Posts: 1036; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)

I have a nexus 5 and its very unlikely that I will buy any other phone as long as the nexus phones are available.
The always on feature is not a enough for me to buy a non nexus phone.

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 09:27

12. Carlitos (Posts: 553; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

Well this work on my Galaxy s4? Or is this only for nexus devices

posted on 26 Jun 2014, 11:45

14. f4remix (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)

where do i go in settings to preselect the desired secondary languages? can't seem to find the options to pick 2nd language in google now.

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