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Google’s voice-activated Assistant coming with Android 5.0, watch out Siri

Google is reportedly baking a Siri-esque voice-activated ‘Assistant’ right into Android 5.0 Jelly Bean as a key feature.

The latest news of this perhaps unsurprisingly development comes from TechCrunch, who’ve been talking to “friends over at Mountain View.” Said, unnamed friends are saying that the service will be called ‘Assistant’ and will let you set reminders, call friends, and set up to-do lists.

What’s exciting is that unlike Apple has done with Siri, Google will apparently be opening up the Assistant SDK to developers. So we ought to see some interesting third party apps popping up in the Market once Android 5.0 Jelly Bean hits.

Assistant will also feature a ‘personalization layer’, prioritising search results that Google thinks you’ll be interested in and adding support for Google+.

Voice-activated controls have been a feature of Android since the Froyo days, with Google Voice Actions pre-dating Siri by over a year. Voice Actions lacks the polish and more importantly the finesse of Siri but Google has been steadily improving this. Only last year was the app tweaked to support our plummy British accents.

Last year, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt described Siri as a “competitive threat” and represented “innovations in search”.

An estimated launch date for Google Assistant is said to be late in the year, Q4 2012. Android 5.0 Jelly Bean is expected to be announced at Google I/O 2012 in June, with no estimated release for this yet.


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