Future versions of Google Now will work offline and learn your preferences

Huawei Nexus 6P
Google Now has so far only worked when you’re online. But now, new documents published by Google reveal that the Google Research system is working on an update to voice commands, dictation, and the rest of the system that will see it stored on the user’s device rather than in the cloud. Essentially, Google Now will soon be able to work without being connected to the Internet.

Google often publishes documentation related to upcoming projects, and these new documents hint at its plans to seriously boost the capabilities of your phone’s personal assistant.

To train the new system, the team basically used 2,000 hours of recorded and anonymized Google voice search traffic, totaling as many as 100 million requests. The team also added background noise from YouTube to make it closer to real life.

Using a variety of computational models, the team was able to come up with a voice system that not only runs from the user’s smartphone, but runs seven times faster than the current version of Google Now on the Nexus 5. The new version of Google Now does all this, and it only takes up 20.3MB of storage, a negligible amount when most phones have at least 8GB or 16GB of onboard storage.

As is the case with a lot of recent Google research, the system is based on machine-learning, in which the software is able to learn as it goes, getting acquainted with the user and the user’s preferences

The system is similar to the previous version of Google Now in that it’s able to handle proper names and other information that will be specific to your device. For example, your set of contacts is going to be different than another user’s contacts. When asked to do something like send an email, the system will transcribe the command and store it, then execute it later when the user is back online.

It will certainly be interesting to see what the future of Google Now holds. A lack of offline functionality is one of the main frustrations most people have with the current version of the assistant, and offering at least some offline functionality will be very helpful.

Home Theater

LG’s 2019 TVs slide Alexa next to Google Assistant, with Siri on the way

LG announced that Alexa will be coming to its 2019 lineup of ThinQ A.I. TVs, joining Google Assistant. Users will be able to control their TVs and smart home devices with their remote, no extra speaker required.
Home Theater

What is Android TV? Google’s smart TV software fully explained

Google's Android TV might not be a household name yet, but with growing support from brands like Sony, it will be soon. But what exactly is Android TV, how do you get it, and what are the benefits? We explain it all.

Hey Google, let’s order out: Food delivery comes to Search, Maps, and Assistant

If you love your takeout, then Google's new online food ordering system is sure to bring a smile to your lips. You can now order takeout from Google Search results, Google Maps, or by using Google Assistant and pick your delivery service.
Smart Home

Pick up two Google Home Minis for just $58 at Walmart for Memorial Day

Walmart cut the Google Home Mini 2-pack price by 25%, lowering the per-unit cost of the entry-level Google Nest Home smart speaker to less than $30. Keeping the Google Home Mini price low attracts new users to the smart home platform.

Lyft’s wallet-friendly Shared Saver option arrives in six more U.S. cities

Lyft is expanding its wallet-friendly Shared Saver option to Atlanta, Las Vegas, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle after launching it earlier this year in Denver, New York City, and San Jose.

Huawei's situation in the U.S. may improve when trade war is resolved

The U.S. Commerce Department has added Huawei to its "Entity List." Google, Intel, and ARM are all confirmed or rumored to be ceasing business with the company, which may have disastrous effects on Huawei.
Product Review

Garmin’s Forerunner 245 Music is all a runner needs to measure performance

Garmin's new Forerunner 245 fitness watch offers advanced metrics, onboard color maps and music. Is this trio a winning combination? We put the watch through its paces to find out.

You can't fool us -- this is definitely the Moschino Honor 20 Pro phone

Honor has launched the Honor 20 Pro and the Honor 20 at an event that took place in London. The new smartphone is surprisingly compact, with an impressive four-lens camera for taking stunning shots, day or night.

Amazon Memorial Day sale: Apple Watch, Surface Pro, and 4K TV Deals

Amazon is discounting a number of different items. Smartwatches, tablets, 4K TVs, smart home devices, and laptops are all getting discounts to stay competitive with prices from Walmart and Best Buy.

Best Memorial Day sales 2019: Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart drop discounts

If you're looking to save big on some shiny new stuff for Memorial Day 2019, we've gathered everything you need to know into one place. Find out where to save the most money before the summer hits its stride.

The 20 best iPhone SE cases to keep your phone looking like new

Protect your iPhone properly with one of the best iPhone SE cases or covers. That metal-and-glass body is prone to scuffs and scratches, so it pays to buy a decent case. We've got protective and stylish options for you here.
Emerging Tech

The best solar chargers for your phone, tablet, and other battery-powered gear

Looking for a gizmo that can help you charge your phone while on the go? Here, we've outlined the best solar chargers on the market, whether you're looking to charge your phone once, twice, or three times over.

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for May 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals for…

Get your gaming on the go with the 25 best Android games

The Google Play Store is loaded with both terrific and terrible gaming titles. We vetted the store to bring you some of the best Android games available, whether you're into puzzles, shooters, racing games, or something else entirely.