Samsung may be working on a Google Now competitor called Samsung Hello

Samsung
If rumors are to be believed, Google Now, Google’s contextual assistant, may soon have competition. South Korean electronics megalith Samsung has filed a trademark for “Samsung Hello” with the European Intellectual Property Office, and the description implies that it has something to do with serving information at a glance.

Google Now, for the uninitiated, is an intelligent assistant that uses signals like geographic location, time of day, search history, and emails in order to make recommendations and predictions. It tracks your flights, stocks, and packages in transit, serves up event reminders and sports updates, monitors the local weather forecast, and keeps track of traffic and transit data. And it lets third-party developers serve up other info.

It launched as part of version 4.1 of Google’s mobile Android operating system, and later came to iOS as part of an update to the Google app.

Samsung’s take on a contextual assistant sounds similar, in some ways. The patent describes the eponymous Samsung Hello as “software that will enable block users or computers and mobile devices to access, aggregate, organize, and interact with content, information, and images and topics of general interest to such users,” and that “[gives] personalized features and information on user’s preferences in the fields of weather, music, entertainment, games, travel, science, health, contact, and social news via voice command and voice recognition.”

Samsung isn’t the first to follow in the footsteps of Google’s AI efforts. Taiwanese phone maker HTC took the wraps off BlinkFeed, a so-called social aggregator, alongside the HTC One M8. It tied together social network updates from Facebook, Instagram, and Yelp, news from ESPN MTV, and Fitbit, and other bite-sized informational tidbits into a single chronological stream. And like Google Now, developers can tap into BlinkFeed to serve up notifications.

It’s unclear just how integral a role Samsung Hello will play in future Samsung devices, though. Google Now is a native feature of the Android operating system, but Samsung’s assistant might launch in the form of an optional add-on for owners of current and future Samsung smartphones and tablets.

Or it might be a piece of a larger AI puzzle. A growing body of evidence suggests that Samsung’s next phone will feature a holistic assistant called Bixby, a name which the company trademarked earlier this year. It’ll reportedly be capable of identifying objects within images and tie into third-party apps to help automatically make purchases and place orders, and is said to be deeply ingrained in a forthcoming version of Samsung’s operating system.

Product Review

From its stunning screen to its slick S-Pen, Samsung's Note 9 is a masterpiece

It’s jaw-dropping how much tech Samsung has fit inside the Galaxy Note 9. It’s one of Samsung’s largest phones ever thanks to its 6.4-inch screen, and the S Pen is better than ever.
Wearables

Samsung's new Galaxy Watch touts ultra-tough glass, multiday battery life

Samsung has finally introduced a sequel to the Galaxy Gear S3 smartwatch -- called the Samsung Galaxy Watch. The new device features a slick design, Samsung's Tizen operating system, and a heart rate monitor to help you track your fitness.
Mobile

Samsung confirms the Galaxy S10 won't be the first 5G phone

It may be no more than a sparkle in Samsung's eye, but the Samsung Galaxy S10 is definitely coming. Here's everything we know about what's sure to be Samsung's most amazing creation so far.
Mobile

Galaxy Note 9's screen scores highest-ever rating on display tests

The Galaxy Note 9 is here, and it's Samsung's most powerful phone to date, with an updated processor, and a brand-new S Pen, and much more. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Galaxy Note 9.
Photography

From white skies to blurry subjects, how to fix common photo mistakes

You snapped the photo at the perfect moment, but the image is blurry. Understanding the most common photography mistakes can help capture better memories and more likable Instagrams. Here's how to fix these seven common photography…
Mobile

Quindim, quiche or quesito? What will Android Q be called?

We always like to wildly speculate about the next dessert-themed name for Android, but the letter Q is making that tougher than usual. Here are our best guesses and suggestions for the full name of Android Q.
Photography

How iPhone photographers connect the world using only ‘basic’ gear

August 19 is World Photography Day, marking progress from the daguerreotype to the iPhone. But how do today's photographers create a connection to viewers using basic gear? We talked to iPhone photographers and influencers around the world…
Wearables

Is this proof Google plans to launch a Pixel Watch soon?

From its Pixel smartphones to Google Home, the Google brand is quickly becoming synonymous with high-quality consumer hardware. This year, it looks like Google may branch out a little further by creating its first smartwatch.
Wearables

Bigger battery and charging band may be in store for the Apple Watch Series 4

Ready for an all new Apple Watch for 2018? It looks like Apple may be planning a complete redesign with improved health features. Here are all the details about the upcoming Apple Watch Series 4.
Mobile

A library at your fingertips: The 101 best free Kindle books

You shouldn't always have to pay for a good read. Here are our picks for the best free Kindle books, so you don't have to sort through thousands of titles on Amazon and Google Play. We divided them into various genres, so dive in.
Apple

New patent suggests multiuser support could one day come to Siri

A new patent suggests that a major improvement may be in the works for Apple's digital assistant. Nothing has been confirmed, but Apple may soon work on implementing multiuser support for Siri.
Wearables

Huawei could announce a trio of new smartwatches at IFA in late August

The Huawei Watch 3 may be a ways off from release, but that doesn't mean Huawei isn't working on what it could look like. A new patent from Huawei hints at a smartwatch with space to store a pair of true wireless earbuds.
Mobile

Apple aficionados, these cute pillows are made just for you

Created as "a cuddly tribute to the tech that changed our lives," these cute pillows will be hard to resist for diehard Apple fans. Each one features an iconic Apple product, including the first iMac and the game-changing iPod.
Mobile

iPad battery explosion prompts Apple Store evacuation in Amsterdam

An iPad battery exploded in an Apple Store over the weekend, causing breathing issues for staff members, and requiring the fire brigade and an ambulance to attend. The incident took place in Amsterdam.