Google Assistant could soon pick up support for Canadian French

Google Assistant could soon pick up support for Canadian French

Google Assistant is learning a new language.

Back when Google unveiled its AI-powered Assistant last year, the company said that it would roll out support for regional languages. Assistant picked up the ability to converse in Hindi, and Google is now training the voice assistant to understand Canadian French.

Google Assistant French Canadian

Based on the screenshot, Google is working on making the French Canadian language model of Assistant available both on Allo and phones. That’s in contrast to Assistant’s capabilities in Hindi, which are limited to Google’s messaging app. Google’s decision to roll out Assistant to all phones running Marshmallow and above will ensure that its AI service is installed on hundreds of millions of handsets around the world, and the logical extension of that is to introduce support for local languages.

There’s no further information as to when Assistant will officially add support for Canadian French, but with the test program underway, we should know more in the coming months.

Source: Android Central

HOW CONSUMERS ARE ENGAGING WITH MOBILE VIDEO AROUND THE WORLD

HOW CONSUMERS ARE ENGAGING WITH MOBILE VIDEO AROUND THE WORLD

This year, more than ever, mobile is all about video. Findings from a new global research study into consumer behaviour and industry analysis show how video viewing has exploded on mobile devices and what advertisers and publishers need to know to make the most of mobile video in 2017.

Around the world, mobile is fueling video growth
Smartphones continue to grow as a screen of choice for video, rivaling desktop viewership consistently year-over-year. On average, 57% of consumers globally watch videos on a mobile phone every day, while 58% of consumers watch videos on their laptop/desktop every day. With 89% of US and 77% of global consumers saying they can’t live without their smartphone or always have it within arm’s reach, we are very close to the tipping point where mobile will soon be the number one video screen.

A boom in short-form video
Attention spans of online consumers? Dissolving. Consumers are watching more and more digital videos each year, but consumption of short-form video is rising at an even higher pace. 42% of consumers watch videos 5 minutes or less every day. As videos get longer, that number decreases.

Mobile is supporting the rise of VR, 360 and live video
The rate at which consumers are adopting immersive video formats varies around the world. For example 31% of US consumers and 21% of Southeast Asia consumers expect to watch more videos in VR in the next 12 months. But only 9% of Canadian and UK consumers feel the same.

When it comes to live video, an average of 65% of consumers watch live video on their smartphones. Southeast Asia saw the highest result, with 76% of consumers watching live video on their smartphones.

Mobile spend is going up
The industry is set to keep pace with consumer demands- continuing to increase spend in mobile video. Around the world, both advertisers and publishers are increasing spend on mobile.

  • 47% of advertisers expect to increase mobile ad spend by at least 25% in 2017
  • 57% of publishers expect mobile ad spend to increase by at least 25% in 2017

Advertisers are funding this increase in mobile video by shifting more and more money away from TV budgets. And mobile video spend is catching up to desktop video. In fact, when we looked at TV budgets shifting to digital video, we found that 63% is going to mobile video and 70% is going to desktop video.

Our new global research study also takes an in-depth look at how consumers engage with digital video, and what the year ahead holds for the industry. For the seventh consecutive year, AOL has uncovered key challenges and opportunities, as well as emerging trends that drive the industry forward. This annual study has also identified how behavior and attitudes have changed year-over-year.

The research was facilitated across seven global markets, including the United States, Canada (French), Canada (English), the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Australia and Southeast Asia. See what this means for marketers and publishers, and take a closer look at the data from our Mobile Video Research.

Via: AOL

The Nokia Phone From The Early ’00s Is Making A Comeback

The Nokia Phone From The Early ’00s Is Making A Comeback

“The grandmaster of gaming and good old snakes is back!!!”

We have the fondest memories of Nokia phones. The sort-of cumbersome, brick-like phones were uncomplicated and indestructible.

And if you, too, feel nostalgic about playing “Snake” on your phone, then Finnish manufacturer HMD Global Oy has great news for you: It’s releasing an updated version of the Nokia 3310.

SCIENCE & SOCIETY PICTURE LIBRARY VIA GETTY IMAGES

The company acquired “exclusive rights to market phones under the storied Nokia brand” and plans to announce four phones at the Mobile World Congress, which kicks off Feb. 26 in Barcelona, Spain, according to Venture Beat.

A modern version of the Nokia 3310, which launched roughly 17 years ago and was taken off the market in 2005, will be released for a mere €59 (about $62.61). There’s no word yet on how, exactly, the new 3310 will be different from the old one.

Regardless, people are excited for the phone to make a comeback:

Am here for the nokia 3310 as my 3rd phone. Will carry them all at once😂😂

The Nokia 3310 being re-released? Make it so!

oh yea!! The grandmaster of gaming and good old snakes is back!!!

Besides the reboot of the classic 3310, the company also plans to release the Nokia 5 and Nokia 3. The Nokia 5 will reportedly go for €199, and Nokia 3, the entry-level Android, will go for €149.

Long live Nokia!

Source: Huffington Post

Airlines Phasing Out Screens Because You Are All on Your Devices

Airlines Phasing Out Screens Because You Are All on Your Devices

Those seat-back screens that have long been part of in-flight entertainment systems are preparing to depart from many airplanes, experts say, and will gradually be replaced by content streamed to passengers’ electronic devices through improved wireless service.

But as with a delayed flight, don’t expect the changes to take off in a hurry.

For airlines, the switch would save money and cater to customers’ changing viewing habits, which rely increasingly on tablets and smartphones, William Hoppe, the leader of travel, logistics and hospitality at Intelenet Global Services, said in an email.

Jon Cobin, the chief commercial officer at Gogo, which provides Wi-Fi service on more than 2,900 commercial planes, said in an email that “virtually everyone is connected at all times on the ground today.”

“That behavior doesn’t change when you get in the air,” he added.

With built-in screens, airliners provide passengers with a set menu of content through boxes that power the in-flight entertainment system. The screens appeared in their most primitive form in the late 1980s with a few movies played on a loop. By the early 2000s, they had advanced to allow passengers to make choices on demand.

By streaming content over wireless systems, passengers will have a wider array of content and the carriers will not have to maintain screens because passengers will bring their own portable devices on board.

Figures for how many planes are solely equipped to stream content were not available. But screens are “definitely decreasing in popularity,” and most new plane models do not include them, Mr. Hoppe said.

Mergers and acquisitions have led to a hodgepodge of fleets with mixed approaches, Robert W. Mann Jr., an independent airline industry analyst and consultant, said in an email. Compounding the confusion is the pace of fleet makeovers, which can take up to three years.

By the time next-generation planes are in service, the technology on them will already headed for obsolescence, Jason Rabinowitz, the director of airline research for Routehappy — which among other things, tracks in-flight amenities — said in an interview.

“The thing with the airline industry is nothing happens quickly,” Mr. Rabinowitz said. “The only thing that moves quickly is the aircraft itself.”

For carriers that discontinue the screens, the savings can be significant. By one estimate, in-flight entertainment systems are the biggest expense in outfitting a new plane and can make up 10 percent of the entire cost of an aircraft.

The screens and their wiring add weight to the plane, and when fuel prices are high, every pound makes a difference. Another financial incentive: Without the screens, carriers can install slimmer seats, which means they can accommodate more passengers and earn more money, Brett Snyder, the author of the airline industry blog “Cranky Flier,” said in an interview.

Fans of the built-in screens can expect them to remain on long-haul international flights, while carriers with shorter domestic routes will be more inclined to drop them. Mr. Hoppe noted that carriers like Southwest Airlines had been promoting streaming content for eight years and had never purchased planes with seat-back screens.

“Rise of in-flight Wi-Fi aside, the zero screen purchases made by Southwest aligns with the fact that many of the carrier’s flights are shorter in duration than the time it takes to finish a movie,” he said.

Experts said that if airliners are going to rely on consumer electronics for in-flight entertainment, the carriers should be prepared to offer another amenity: outlets for passengers to charge their devices. Mr. Hoppe said it was “imperative” to have them available in all rows and seats, and “essential” to ensure that each one works.

“Being stuck in the seat with the malfunctioning charging outlet is the type of experience that can shape customer attitude towards the airline as a whole,” he noted, “especially as the need to charge increases with more device activity.”

Seat-back screens have drawn complaints that they cast too much light in a darkened cabin, and the bulky boxes below the seats that power the entertainment systems take up leg room and space for stowing carry-on luggage.

A drawback to streaming, however, is that airliners will not gain access to movies before they are released for home viewing. Carriers customarily get a jump on those films by a month or two, but because movie studios are highly protective of their content, they don’t want to risk having anyone download a new release when it is streamed, Mr. Rabinowitz said. He added that about 90 percent of passengers clicked on “new releases” on seat-back screens.

Mr. Snyder said he had seesawed in his feelings about streaming but had come down on the side of the screens.

“It is awesome to be able to watch television or a movie in the background while working on my laptop,” he wrote in a blog post. “This is indeed a first-world problem. Can I be content without the screen? Sure. But I kind of want it to feel like it is when I’m at home. That makes me greedy, but hey, why not?”

The loss of seat-back screens should curb those questionable moments of in-flight etiquette when one passenger peeks at what a seatmate is watching, or more awkwardly, when a passenger watches something rife with sex and violence that may be inappropriate for others nearby.

“There’s definitely a number of passengers who like to watch ‘Game of Thrones,’” Mr. Rabinowitz said.

Source: NY Times

ANROID WEAR 2.0 LAUNCHES ALONGSIDE 2 NEW APPLE WATCH COMPETITORS

ANROID WEAR 2.0 LAUNCHES ALONGSIDE 2 NEW APPLE WATCH COMPETITORS

Google has unveiled Android Wear 2.0. The company has also announced the first two new smartwatches to run on the software update, the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style.

Google says Android 2.0 offers “more informative watch faces, better workouts, new ways to use apps, more ways to stay in touch and on-the-go help from the Google Assistant.”

As an Apple Watch owner, one of the new Android 2.0 features that caught my eye is the new on-watch Google Play Store, which allows you to download apps directly from the watch face. The addition of Google Assistant also shows promise.

From a design perspective, both the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style feature circular OLED displays compared to the Apple Watch’s rectangular design. Also worth noting: the LG screens are slightly different in size. The LG Watch Sport measures 1.38 inches, while the LG Watch Style is 1.20 inches.

As an Apple Watch owner, one of the new Android 2.0 features that caught my eye is the new on-watch Google Play Store, which allows you to download apps directly from the watch face.

The LG Watch Sport is described as Android Wear’s “most powerful watch yet.” It comes in titanium and dark blue with an elastomer strap.  The Sport offers cellular connectivity, GPS, and NFC.

The LG Watch Style launches in three designs and finishes—silver, rose gold and titanium. Each offers compatibility with snap-and-swap 18mm leather and silicone bands. LG Watch Style is not available with cellular capabilities.

The new smartwatches arrive in the United States beginning Monday, Feb. 10. The LG Watch Style will be available at Best Buy and the Google Store while the LG Watch Sport will launch at AT&T, Verizon, and the Google Store.

These watches will be available at carriers and retailers across Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom in the coming weeks.

Current watches getting Android Wear 2.0 include: ASUS ZenWatch 2 & 3, Casio Smart Outdoor Watch, Casio PRO TREK Smart, Fossil Q Founder, Fossil Q Marshal, Fossil Q Wander, Huawei Watch, LG Watch R, LG Watch Urbane & 2nd Edition LTE, Michael Kors Access Smartwatches, Moto 360 2nd Gen, Moto 360 for Women, Moto 360 Sport, New Balance RunIQ, Nixon Mission, Polar M600, and TAG Heuer Connected.

Source: App Device

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