Apps

Google Assistant is coming to more countries this year

Includes India, Philippines, and Singapore

Published

on

Google Duplex

Google I/O came and went with an absurd flurry of new phones, apps, and everything in between. However, even if you watched the presentations, you might have missed this key announcement from the event:

Google Assistant is coming to more countries! Previously limited to select countries and devices, Google’s own voice assistant will operate in 80 countries by the end of the year. Particularly, the long list includes key markets in Southeast Asia.

At the event, Google Assistant’s VP of Engineering Scott Huffman showed off a massive map of countries that will have the software this year. While he doesn’t list them down one by one, the markers are noticeable.

Image source: Google

For example, by the end of 2018, the Southeast Asian region will enjoy Google Assistant support in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Huffman states that the global expansion draws from the incredibly positive response they got from an initial expansion to India. “Daily usage there has tripled since the beginning of the year,” he says.

Sadly, Google has not released a digital render of the map or a complete list of countries yet. Without a list, the video confirms only the countries that are big enough to see.

Additionally, Google will expand the Assistant’s available languages to 30. However, they have not listed any languages yet.

With the expansion, Google can replace the dated Google Now across the globe. Google Assistant depicts a friendlier and more efficient approach to Google’s voice control, in line with Siri and Alexa.

As of now, Google has not released a timetable of when the software will roll out. If you’re in one of the countries pictured, you can at least expect it by the end of 2018.

SEE ALSO: 6 awesome things that happened at Google I/O 2018

Apps

Twitter expands character limit to 4,000 characters

But not for everyone

Published

on

Despite the traditional limitations, the platform’s users have always found a way to express themselves beyond Twitter’s character limits. Whether broken through extensive threads or third-party sites, strict limitations don’t exist anymore. Now, Twitter is essentially getting rid of the character limit by introducing its biggest expansion to date.

Announced today, Twitter will allow users to post tweets with up to 4,000 characters. That’s a gigantic leap from the original 140-character limit and the expanded 280-character limit in 2017. But, of course, some good things come with a price.

Not everyone will have access to the new feature. Currently, only Twitter Blue subscribers in the United States can create tweets of up to 4,000 characters. Besides original tweets, subscribers can also quote tweet with the same expanded limit.

Thankfully, the new feature will not inundate everyone’s feeds with an ocean of text. Any tweets going beyond 280 characters will be cut off with a “show more” prompt.

Through the past few months, the platform has changed a few fundamental elements before Musk took over. Most importantly, Twitter Blue, the platform’s paid subscription service is now much more expansive. Among other things, subscribers now get the coveted blue checkmark attached to their profiles. Now, they also get a massive boost in capabilities when it comes to tweeting.

SEE ALSO: Twitter is teasing an ad-free subscription tier

Continue Reading

Apps

Alibaba is working on its own ChatGPT alternative

Joins Microsoft and Google

Published

on

The United States isn’t the only country interested in language learning software. After the widespread success of ChatGPT, a few other companies — including Microsoft and Google — are developing their own versions of the popular software. Today, a new contender is joining the fray. Alibaba has officially announced the development of its own chatbot.

Reported by CNBC, the Chinese giant is currently testing its alternative to ChatGPT. Unfortunately, the announcement did not come with any more details or a timeframe for its release. However, the company does assure enthusiasts that it has been working on generative AI since 2017.

Within only a few months, ChatGPT created a maelstrom of hype for language learning models. The software can generate lengthy but comprehensible essays about any topic. Though there is some debate as to how ethical it is, remarkably intelligent software is slowly finding its niche in today’s world.

To compete with ChatGPT, Microsoft and Google have announced their own software this week. Microsoft is infusing the technology into Bing and Edge. Meanwhile, Google has its own software called Bard.

Also, besides Alibaba, Chinese search engine Baidu is also testing a chatbot called “Ernie bot.” With several companies working on generative AI, the technology is undoubtedly here to stay.

SEE ALSO: Google is working on a ChatGPT competitor called Bard

Continue Reading

Apps

Google will blur NSFW photos soon

Turned on by default

Published

on

When I search for “food porn” in Google, I’m looking for enticing photos of food to whet my appetite for dinner. Sometimes, Google has other plans and shows me more than what I bargained for. Finally, the search engine is implementing a way to save us from those awkward moments. Google will soon blur explicit images from search results.

For Safer Internet Day, Google has announced the feature to help protect users from accidentally seeing graphic images — including both gore and pornography — from a search. The feature, which will start rolling out in the coming months, will turn on by default. Instead of showing the images directly, users will face the blurred version and a prompt to view the image despite the warning.

If you don’t mind an accidental shower of NSFW imagery, you can turn the feature off at any time. Alternatively, as always, users can also choose to filter out all explicit search results, blurred or otherwise.

Though the feature is easily adjustable, Google will not offer the same flexibility to supervised accounts. Any accounts supervised by a parent or a school will not be able to change how they view explicit content. Parents can add supervision to the accounts of their children.

SEE ALSO: Google is working on a ChatGPT competitor called Bard

Continue Reading

Trending