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Google Set To Take Down Siri With ‘NOW ON TAP’

Google Set To Take Down Siri With ‘NOW ON TAP’

by Curtis Brereton30th September 2015

It’s the next technological step that is being taken by Google to wow its users.

With the recent arrival of the super high tech smart phones, things have changed and fortunately for us, Google also have changed the game with their new feature, ‘Now on tap’.

Google have built an outstanding collection of words- TRILLIONS in fact. They are attempting to connect these words to build the world’s best personal assistant. You could think of it as an all knowing device.

“When you have a 5in-diagonally-across screen – it’s not designed to type,” says Amit Singhal, Googles search chief.

He added that on mobiles you have to give more to the user, allow them to explore new ways, new routes to take to get hold of the information you need.
Which is why Mr Singhal and his squad of search techies have developed ‘Now on tap’.

The new feature, which is being introduced with the latest O.S (Operating system) for the majority of new android mobiles, allows users to gain the information they want from their screen with just the push of a button. It will allow the user to gain information on whatever they need. But in order to do this, Google will need to understand both tasks, as well as sub tasks.

Mr Singhal used a text from his wife as an example of how this works. He suggests a restaurant he has interest in. From this he describes how his wife can get information on directions, the opening times and more, just by pressing the home button when the name of the restaurant is shown on the screen.

‘Now on tap’, will work with any app you run. The words ‘OK Google’ will trigger the device and launch the ‘‘Now on tap’’ function.

I can probably speak for a large amount of music lovers who have been in the awkward situation of hearing a song and not knowing the artist behind that single piece of genius. By saying ‘OK Google’ “who is this artist”, Google will find you that information.

One obvious pro to this would be the fact that you will no longer have to change windows or ‘tabs’ to search for information which, as we all know, is very irritating and time consuming.
Mr Singhal described it as a “search designed for the mobile world”.

However, as usual there is a catch. By using this service, Google will need you the user, to disclose information such as your interests, hobbies and more.
However, it is this information that Google needs to allow the app to work to the best of its abilities. So in other words, if you want the best out of Google’s ‘‘Now on tap’’, you will need to agree to give Google this information.


Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook, has described the whole concept as “wrong” and that the consumers, some day, will see Googles movements for what they truly are.
“They’re gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetise it”. He added.

Apple have highlighted the fact that when they do gather information from its users, it is anonymous, for example when apple sends its location-specific alerts, it does so without recording any history or the account ID on the server.

Mr Singhal responded by stating that ‘‘Now on tap’’ grants its consumers absolute control over the data Googles has access to, but added that he believes users know that by giving this information they are given benefits that they will appreciate in the long term.

“If Google doesn’t know where my office is or what time my next meeting is, it can’t tell me there is traffic” he says.

Meaning that if the user does not supply Google with the location of their work place, and the route they take, then Google will not know what information the user will need.
Google also believe that with proper consent, the opt-in option and control over the users information, they are able to supply the users with an application that brings a lot of value to the user.


Comcore (a study group) have shown in a recent study that most users in the United States spend more than six times the amount of time searching through mobiles than they do through desktops.

But unfortunately for Google, they have many other rival virtual assistants who pose serious competition.

• Microsoft have introduced a function to the all-new Windows 10 called Cortana, they are also hoping in broadening this to iOS as well as android.

Microsoft's Cortana

• M, on Facebooks messenger is being tested.

Facebook's M

• Apple of course paved the way for all of this with Siri, and are hoping to go that step further by introducing that service to its apple TV technology.


• Amazon is also attempting to build itself with Echo (AKA Alexa) which will be reaching out to third-party apps and gadgets.

You may be thinking that it is rather farfetched that the competitors in this industry are beginning to give their devices almost, human like personalities, when their voice-searching capabilities cannot be compared with Google.

Mr Singhal stated that those computer-coded characters are not yet ready for prime time.

He also added that the main challenge with building a personal assistant with a computer based personality, still remains that human interactions are way more developed that the current algorithm can comprehend in today’s society.

As humans we can read emotions, computers are yet to reach that level.

Mr Singhal also added that he believes technology will take quite some time to develop.

At the current moment in time, Google are focusing their efforts on image recognition. Their earlier efforts come from the ‘Photos’ app which puts photos you have taken or downloaded into relevant categories.

It manages to do this through key words from the photo’s file for example the location the photo was taken, when you took it or where the file was downloaded from.

In a recent demo, Mr Singhal showed how the technology has the power to find and slideshow photos of turtles he took while he was on holiday, even though he was never tagged into those photos.
Just like all technology there are setbacks and minor issues, Singhal does however point this out and understand the limits of the current state the technology is in.

However, these limits did not prevent amazon’s ‘Firefly’ from creating a mobile device which allows the user to gather information on a product or object by simply scanning them.
But this doesn’t necessarily mean that that Google cannot develop a personal assistant which will go further than this, if anything amazon showing this progress pushes rival companies to go that step further.


Google are keen on avoiding conversation on the complications they will run into throughout their journey of creating the next gen applications.

The EU along with India have pointed the finger of shame at Google accusing them of abusing their position in search to restrain the competition surrounding them. Reports from the Wall street journal also show that the United States are trying to address this issue.

Mr Singhal feels that attempting to think about the future with a lens from the past is what is currently stopping the tech world from developing.
He concluded by stating that Google build things that would not exist otherwise.

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Curtis Brereton

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