Google’s Majel now called “Assistant,” to be released during quarter 4, 2012?


Google has been working on a Siri competitor since last year – Majel. This service has yet to make it to the market, but it seems like there is a reason for that. According to Tech Crunch, the name is now Google Assistant, and the Search Giant has taken things a step further.

The project is being conducted by the Android team, which plans to open source Assistant. Hence, allowing developers to use the service to further improve their apps and products. This means that Assistant will be able to be utilized in devices, programs, apps, browsers and whatever else they feel could take advantage of it.

Voice technology is nothing new for Android, but surely a more personalized service would improve the experience. People love Siri, and Google is not slowing down the competition. Tech Crunch’s source indicates that the project involves three parts:

  • 1 – Get the world’s knowledge into a format a computer can understand.
  • 2 – Create a personalization layer — Experiments like Google +1 and Google+ are Google’s way of gathering data on precisely how people interact with content.
  • 3 – Build a mobile, voice-centered “Do engine” (‘Assistant’) that’s less about returning search results and more about accomplishing real-life goals.

These sources also state that Assistant is set to be released by Q4 of 2012. We will have to wait a bit before we see anything, but it looks promising and might be worth it. If you like voice commands, that is. I know I rarely use them, even though they have been available for quite some time.

But what do you think? Would you be interested in Siri-like voice commands?

[Via: Tech Crunch]

Edgar Cervantes

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  1. Majel Barrett’s voice would be a massive improvement over what they use in Google Nav. Actually, they should use ANY voice that isn’t that horrible voice that comes stock with Google Navigation. Worst voice ever.

    1. You do know that you can change the text to speech voices on Android, right?

      1. how?

        1. Here is a link showing the steps (it’s easy). This is for a Samsung, but works the same way on most Android phones (at least the ones I’ve used)

          There are voices that you can download on the market, SVOX and others have them.

      2. Yes, I do and I have. A long time ago. lol, as soon as I heard that voice, I looked for ways to change it.

    2.  I use Ivona voices. My phone has a nice British accent :)

  2. I believe it will first be available on the new Nexus

    1. This is the first thing that came to my mind when I read “Q4 2012”. 

    2. I’m thinking integration with JellyBeans

  3. Does anyone else notice a second voice in Google Navigation?
    Her voice is softer and easier to listen to, but the default voice always overlaps her voice.

  4. There are voice packs in the market to change the voice and accent for navigation and text to voice.

  5. The voice in ICS navigation is vastly improved over the voice from 2.3

  6. Doesn’t Voice Commands within Android’s Voice Search app already provide a Siri-isque experience allowing users to send texts, run searches, and even dictate emails and Navigation directions all with the sound of your voice?

    Looking forward to the improvements an assistant will surely bring though.

  7. I always use Voice Actions: “Navigate to…” and “Send a text to…” are phenomenal when in a car or hurry!

  8. sweet andriod first with voice actions. apple releases siri. google develops assistant. apple do you see how this innovation thing works? there is no need for lawsuits, just improve siri to beat assistant, let google follow and repeat. 

    1. exactly. I heard this quote about apple that said “Apple doesn’t invent new products. They reinvent industries”. I think Google’s Assistant is a perfect example of this. No need for lawsuits.

      1. U should really look at the data before u run ur mouth… Android is smashing icrap…

    2. No Siri for you! in my best soup nazi lawsuit mongering voice! 

  9. Hear lots of people saying they never use the voice command features in android, always surprises me.  I’ve become absolutely reliant on emailing and texting with voice only, setting timers and alarms effortlessly, navigation is a given, and even though its obvious – google search by voice has spoiled me so much that now I absolutely hate searching for things on my pc (and I’m a fan of pc’s..)

    I was worried Google would release Majel first as an app like Siri is now, and then later bake it into 5.0.  The timing to me seems to imply they’re skipping the app, refining the voice experience and releasing it as a big feature in Jellybean, using the Nexus tablet by Asus with what will probably be the next-gen Tegra 4+1 to showcase it, along with the new Nexus phone (Moto or Sammy?) and whatever other new tablets/phones happen to be coming out with 5.0.

    1.  Voice recognition isn’t 100% and until it is, people will be frustrated with it.

  10. anyone else notice how google I/O is the same week as Alan Turing’s 100th birthday?  I’d be surprised if Google doesn’t unveil something like this to honour him.

    1. It’s a safe assumption, considering I/O usually has previews of what’s to come for Android. They’d announce it in June, coinciding with Turing’s centennial anniversary, then release it with Jelly Bean in the fall onboard the new Nexus.

  11. I like the name “Assistant” a lot more than “Majel”

    1.  I don’t like this idea of VA’s with cute names and cleavage but can’t tell me what the weather is like or what 1 + 1 is

  12. I’ve been using speaktoit for months it works well and as long as I speak clearly it works great even understood me when I had a bad cold. No need to use Google’s assistant whenever it come out just my opinion though

  13. due to the strict no hands cell phone use when driving, i want Google assistant to work like the following: a way to read the latest tweets as they happen, an ability to reply to those tweets, and create new tweets, read the text from Facebook statuses, and other updates.  i really want it to do a lot of things on your phone, without touching it.

  14. It sounds interesting I think siri is actually kind of cool but I always make it tell me poop jokes, never anything productive….

  15. @samual check out Vlingo you can send a tweet and update Facebook. With out touching the phone

  16. majel-like voice commands, not siri.

  17. As long as it is not like siri but better. I hate Siri…

  18. i want them to make it like glados

  19. Nope never use them they are a bother. But im old school I know with trends and the new wave of geeks that they will love it. But Open source this just killed Siri in my opinion love to see what developers will do with this service.

  20. aww…using Majel would be so much better than “assistant”

    rip majel (twice over!)

  21. This capability has been the most missed thing for me since moving from Windows based (old technology) phones. 

    I really used the Microsoft Voice Command a lot on my previous phone. While it was probably not as robust as this new product will be, it was very accurate (compared to current Google voice technology) when trying to dial by voice, especially via blue tooth.

    Also was nice to be able to load apps by voice; load music by voice, via artist, album or genre.

    Will be glad to see this capability.

  22. I use speaktoit, and text by voice, on a budget android, both work good. sure there’s faults in both, but compared to siri, they are just as accurate. with this new majael, input , things will only get better for developers to make killer apps.

  23. So Jellybean will release in Q4 with a Nexus phone and tablet. Nice

  24. It will take too long. By q4 Siri will have gotten better. Still, I think Google is kickibg ass on many levels. here’s a column on Google becoming a portal. Interesting

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