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

Posted: , 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.


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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