Were you aware of the fact that Samsung's flagship smartphones are equipped with voice control feature to help you capture pictures with your voice? The Galaxy S6 series and the Galaxy Note 5 released last year came with option, and it's also available in the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. Voice control for capturing pictures on Samsung smartphones works smoothly, although quite a few companies have deactivated this option.
Voice control is not activated by default on the S7 and S7 edge, but enabling it is as easy as pie. First fire up your camera app (double tap on the home button is the fastest way to launch camera), go to settings by tapping on the button at the top left of the display, tap to open Shooting methods option, and toggle to select voice control option. It is also possible to activate/deactivate the front camera by providing shooting gestures. Some of the gestures are tapping anywhere on the display or tapping the heart rate sensor for selfies, and displaying the palm to the snapper to capture a picture after a certain amount of time.
You can configure the camera app to take snaps when you say capture, shoot or anything else. All you need to make sure is that the word should be clearly pronounced. Video recording can also be done by something like - "record video".
It is official now, the much hyped Samsung Bixby won't have any voice functionalities whatsoever at launch. It was a surprising decision by Samsung to exclude a major part of the AI personal assistant experience from the S8 and the S8+, after marketing the missing feature as one of the main selling points of the Galaxy S8 series. We know that this cannot exactly be a voluntary decision as it clearly reflects very poorly on the company's recently tarnished image, but the question is; why advertise something that isn't even ready?
Samsung has promised that the missing features from Bixby will be making their way onto select flagship smartphones by spring 2017 in the US, but that is a vague and disappointing declaration to say the least. However, Bixby will still have Vision, Home and Reminder features active and working on the S8 and S8+ on launch. It makes you think if marketing Bixby in the way that they did was a mistake. I mean, to add an extra non-reprogrammable hardware button to your flagship device for a service that isn't even finished yet, sounds like a strange and somewhat stupid decision for a company as big as Samsung is.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
While the Galaxy S8 is without a doubt a pinnacle of achievement for Samsung Mobiles, it isn't without its flaws. However, I think one of the biggest flaws in the Galaxy S8 is not the fingerprint scanner but the way they managed the whole affair with Bixby. After investing so much into marketing their AI assistant and giving the phone a dedicated hardware button which just simply cannot be remapped to anything else, the S8 and S8+ were launched with a voice assistant that had no voice capabilities! Unfortunately, as per the Korea Herald, if you own a Galaxy S8/S8+ in the US or in any of the other English speaking nations around the world, you will likely not be seeing Bixby anytime soon.
In order to understand what exactly went wrong here, take a note of the following points.
• Samsung did not have sufficient Big Data available to them at that time to enable the voice functions of Bixby
• This happened because Samsung adopted Big Data integration much later than its competition
• There's a huge language barrier in between Samsung's English speaking developers and Korean developers which is making communication difficult
If you are wondering when you can expect Bixby voice communication to finally make its appearance on your S8 or S8+, the time is expected to be somewhere during the fourth quarter of the year.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
It's finally here, Google's Hangouts App is now being updated with Voice Integration. Today, Google Voice is being rolled into Hangouts which will enable Voice SMS and voicemail via a popup in the conversation list. Go check your Hang-outs App Now.
Parts of this seems to be working fine, but others not so much. For example, messages sent to your Google Voice number will appear in Hangouts (mobile and desktop) just fine. Replies, however, appear to be busted in both locations right now. Presumably this is all just a bump in the road early in deployment. Of course, someone might have simply thrown the switch too soon.
Also note that if you turn on Voice integration, your Voice app will stop receiving messages-everything will go straight to Hangouts. The Voice website will also be updated with a notice that your texts and voicemail are being routed to Hangouts. The Voice Chrome extension will be able to send SMS, but it won't receive them anymore. Hangouts App should get another update during this week for full Google voice integration.
According to a new rumor, Google is working on a Revolutionary new Real-time Voice Translation System. This new App will allow users to speak in their native language (e.g. English) and the receiver will get real-time translation in his own language (e.g. French). A report by New York Times claims that the new functionality will be released as an update to Google's Mobile Translate app on Android.
There are not a lot of details right now, but one thing is clear. Google won't be offering two-way real-time voice translation. Instead, it will pick up any ongoing dictation in a popular language with your phone's microphone and automatically translate it to a language of your choice using the already present capabilities of the Google Translate app. Currently, it offers written translation from/to 80 languages.
According to NYT, Google will also announce a service that will let you point your phone to any foreign street sign and get an automatic translation.
A New feature has been added to "Google Now" for Android, which is the Google Search App. This new feature will allow you to send text messages via Google Hangouts simple using your Voice using the well-known phrase "Okay Google".
This feature is a server-side enabled, so you won't be needing to install any APK or do any updates to your device. All you have to do is just say "Okay Google" followed by "Send a Hangouts message" and then your message. It will then ask you whom you want to send the message to followed by your message before you can send it.
Today, Google updated its Android Maps App with some New features, the Google Maps 9.2.0 Update is now Rolling-out on the Play store. Google also released the official change-log of this update too.
What's New in Google Maps 9.2 :
• Filter search results for restaurants by cuisine type
• See your Google contacts when searching for addresses
• Business owners, claim your listing page to manage your presence on Maps
• Bug fixes
The biggest change in this release can be found buried in the settings screen, about half-way down the list. There's now a 'Navigation settings' menu with options to control the default voice level and if the map should be automatically tilted.
The volume of spoken directions can be left at the standard level, or turned either softer or louder. There's no explicit control over how much volume is modified in either direction, but it's better than what was there. Tilt map is a little more interesting, as it dictates if the navigation view will default to a direct top-down perspective or at an angle.
If you don't want to wait until the update hit your device, You can Download the official Google Maps 9.2 APK from the link below.
After months of wait, the United States is now officially the first English-speaking nation to get a taste of Bixby's voice capabilities. Samsung has announced that the Bixby Voice functionalities are now rolling out to the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus handsets across the States in the form of an OTA update. If you are in the United States and you own either the Galaxy S8 or the S8 Plus, check from Settings > Software Update > Download Updates Manually now, if you have not been prompted automatically for updating your device yet. If it's not there, don't worry, it will be in a few days' time.
After seeing a three month delay, the Bixby voice functionalities for the English language is finally out, although support for the Korean language has been out since May. It would be interesting to see if Samsung was indeed right about Bixby being able to handle complex commands or if it was all just marketing. If you are wondering what kind of complex commands we are talking about here, it will apparently be able to recognize natural language and will let you interact with third party apps like Facebook and Gmail without the user even needing to touch his/her phone once. Let us know how well it's working out for you if you already have it.
Source: Samsung Newsroom
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
In case you own a Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus, we have good news for you because the much awaited Bixby Voice update is now reaching the two smartphones across the entire world! Samsung has made it official that starting today, 200+ countries all around the world will be receiving Bixby Voice; a service that was lacking in the AI assistant up until now, in spite of being heavily advertised prior to its launch.
No new languages have been added to the voice capabilities of Bixby for now, so we will only be able to use it either in Korean or US English. We are hopeful (so is Samsung) that the language support will expand widely with time, but this is how things stand at this moment. Nevertheless, the support for English will make the assistant useable in most countries. Do you think this global launch of Bixby has anything to do with the Galaxy Note 8 being launched tomorrow? Of course it does! After launching one flagship smartphone without its hyped AI assistant's main functionality, Samsung was not going to make the same mistake again. We will now be waiting for the Note 8's first official appearance tomorrow. Stay tuned for more on that.
Head over to our firmware section to find all the latest available updates for your Samsung smartphones and tablets.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)