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Google I/O 2015: Now on Tap, an integrated version of Google Now for Android M


At the Google I/O 2015, the Mountain View search engine giant announced a new feature called ‘Now on Tap’ on Android M. The feature will allow users to use the search feature without leaving an app, using the “Ok Google” command.android-m-google-now-on-tap-1-1200-80

The Google Now team has been working on adding support to third-party apps and making functions easier. Google VP of Products stated that it is an extension of Google’s overall search strategy and the result of its efforts around machine learning and deep neural networks to help computers understand more about the world around them. Google demonstrated the feature by playing a Skrillex tune, and asks Google Now “what’s his real name” and is displays the relevant information.

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Now on Tap feature will be available on Android M. For instance, a user can ask Google Now about a movie while taking on phone or check its schedule, tickets or ratings without leaving an app, and the AI can also suggest reminders. Google mentioned that developers do not have to do anything complex to add functionality. Google will not copy the data between the app and the feature, unless it is activated. The functionality will work on all Android apps, but the it is limited only to text search.

The feature is activated by holding the home button. In case the information is not found, the user can use Google Now to find the relevant information. The feature was announced at Google I/O developers conference on Thursday, and will bring Google Now’s context-sensitive information and suggestions to the open apps on Android devices. Google has been working on natural-language database for more accurate speech recognition in Google Now. This means that Now on Tap could be more accurate than ever before.

If Now on Tap is given permission to copy the data between the app and Google, the AI will start collecting ancillary information about emails, stories you are reading, the videos or music, and even the route you are driving. Google Now is a database tool, unlike the  humanized assistant like Apple’s Siri. Now on Tap does not have its ability to learn from people’s habits as it is programmed by people, though it is likely to be added in the future.

However, the feature is likely to keep users away due to the privacy concerns. Google already notifies that it collects information from its email service, to display relevant ads, and this functionality will further help the company for generating ad revenue. Tech giants are increasingly focusing on improving their search services like Apple Siri, which is working on making the service smarter. On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that it would bring Cortana to Apple iOS and devices running Android. Yahoo is also working on Aviate that takes over an Android phone to display information on the device and Yahoo’s search engine.

Check out the video below:


About Anirudh Madhav

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A movie buff, a bookworm, and a compulsive doodler. All posts by Anirudh

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