As “Cortana” Approaches, Remembering Microsoft’s Other Digital Assistant: Ms. Dewey

msdewey & cortana Microsoft is apparently readying its own digital assistant called "Cortana," to take on Apple's Siri and Google Now. Hopefully, Cortana will see more love than Microsoft's other assistant that you have probably long forgotten about. Ms. Dewey. Ms. Dewey? She was an experimental interface launched in October 2006 for Microsoft's search engine Live Search (now called Bing). Actually, she was more an underground marketing campaign. She gained buzz because she was an assistant with attitude, if she had issues with what you searched for. Howard Stern? As this Marketplace report from the ti [...]

Google Brings Its Nexus “Launcher” To Other Android Devices

Google Launcher Google Nexus devices (i.e., Nexus 5) have featured Google Now prominently as well as "OK Google" hands free voice search. But now the company is rolling that experience out to a slightly broader array of devices. Google Play devices can now get these same features by installing the "Google Launcher" (app).  Below are the "new" features (as represented in the Google Play store): Google Now on your home screen Say "Ok Google" - when you're on your home screen, just say "Ok Google" to trigger voice input. Then say your search query. Or tell your phone what to do, like send a text messag [...]

Grow In-Store Visits From Smartphones For Better Traffic From Google Mobile

mobile-devices-featured We know 2013 was the year that Google finally started to improve the smartphone search experience, warning webmasters and marketers about things that make a site less usable for smartphone users -- like Flash, faulty redirects, slow loading pages and so on.   I know sites can be difficult for mobile searchers to use, regardless of whether they're dedicated mobile sites, dynamic serving, or responsive web design -- so let's focus instead on what we can do to improve the mobile searcher experience on our sites.  I'll be suggesting ways to improve the mobile searcher experience througho [...]

Google Now Adds Walking & Biking Miles Accrued Over The Month

google-now-walk-bike-miles-1385991466 Google has quietly added a new feature to Google Now that tracks and reports on the miles you've walked and/or biked over the past month. Google Now users on Android have been noticing the new Google Now cards showing up at the beginning of this month, showing how far they've walked or biked in the past month. Supposedly this feature came out a month ago, but not many noticed. Now we are seeing the social networks light up about the new Google Now cards. Google calls the cards the activity cards and they say the numbers are "very rough approximation of how far you've walked or cycled [...]

Google Quietly Testing Offline Store Visits Tracking

smartphone-map-checkin Last month Google announced a program called "Estimated Total Conversions." That program is intended to report or provide visibility into cross-device and offline conversions by tracking the activities of signed-in Chrome users and extrapolating that data to the broader Google user population. The offline component of conversion tracking wasn't supposed to begin until 2014. However, according to a report in Digiday, Google is currently experimenting with tracking offline store visits, using smartphone location, and trying to connect that back to mobile ad exposures: Google is beta-testing [...]

Google Brings Local Search To Digital Displays Across London

Google Outside Google has undertaken a novel marketing experiment in London. Called "Google Outside," and first reported by the website Campaign, Google and agency R/GA have deployed 160 digital displays at bus stops and underground stations across London. The electronic displays offer "local search" information on tourist attractions, businesses and entertainment. As far as we can tell from the available information users cannot directly interact with the displays but they will change based on weather conditions and other variables. Apparently Google Now technology is involved. The pictured image (cre [...]

Google Smartwatch Coming, Probably Not In Time For Holidays

Dick Tracy stamp In Shanghai China, there's a giant digital ad on one of the massive skyscrapers looming over the Huangpu River promoting Samsung's Galaxy Gear watch. But no amount of splashy marketing can save the poorly-designed, rushed-to-market device. The Samsung smartwatch debuted to withering reviews (poor design, functionality, battery life) and supposedly is seeing returns north of 30 percent in the US. Google will seek to avoid Samsung's mistakes as it prepares to go into production on its own smartwatch. Rumors of a Google smartwatch have been circulating for months but according to the Wall [...]

Google Now Adds More Cards, Including Car Rentals & Concert Tickets

Google Now for iOS Google announced yesterday that it has added more "cards" to Google Now. The following are the new types of content and data that Google Now will be showing: Car rentals card Concert ticket card Improved public transit cards Commute sharing card Set reminders while you search Updated TV card NCAA football scores Of particular interest in the list above is the "commute sharing card," which will allow others to track your movements and get a better sense of when you'll arrive. Here's Google's explanation of the feature: "When leaving work, you can now choose to inform your lov [...]

Moto X: Google’s Real Answer To The iPhone

Moto X At an event in New York today, Google and Motorola unveiled the long-anticipated Motorola Moto X. You can read about specs and first hands-on reviews on Techmeme. The phone is getting a generally enthusiastic response from those that have received early demo units. (We don't have one.) From an overall design standpoint, it's a giant leap ahead of the previous Motorola "Droid" handsets. That's partly because it's the first phone designed following the $12.5 billion Google acquisition of Motorola. The phone has a 4.7 inch display and a 10 MP camera. The design generally reminds one of the [...]

New Google Now Cards: Live TV, Music And Offers

Google Now graphic Earlier today, Google introduced some additional Now cards and functionality through an update to its Android search app (not yet for iOS). They extend to live TV, music and location-sensitive offers. Google announced the new features in a post on its Android Google+ site. Here's the list of new capabilities, available for Android 4.1 and above: Information about shows you're watching on your Internet-connected TV Saved offers when nearby a redemption location New voice action: play music from your phone or the Play Store Voice actions tips The most celebrated feature (already) [...]

Mad Men’s Joan Harris: The New Face Of Google Now?

joan as google now If Google's predictive search service Google Now needed a catchier name similar to Apple's "Siri," how about "Joan?" As in Joan Harris, who effectively personified herself in the last episode of Mad Men as doing what Google Now does. Joan Harris, junior partner with Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Cutler Gleason & Chaough at the start of last Sunday's episode, which becomes just Sterling Cooper & Partners by the end, is out on what she mistakenly thought was a date but turns into a client pitch to Avon. Asked what she does for the agency (good question, I'm not even sure of her [...]

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