Tuesday 25 August 2015

Google testing new feature that lets you add food images to locations on Maps

Google testing new feature that lets you add food images to locations on Maps

Google is reportedly testing a new feature which will detect when photos are clicked at certain restaurants, and offer to attach them to the establishment’s location. The new feature will be rolling out to local guides ‘level 3 and above’ first, meaning to people who have contributed more than 50 reviews as part of Google’s Local Guides program.
Image: Android Police
Image: Android Police
Earlier this year, Google had tried a new experimental service called Tablescape but shut it down and stated that this food photography service’s influence might be seen in future apps. However, this feature is not a separate app and a report by TheVerge pointed out that Google’s email to qualifying Local Guides calls for users to post photos of their ‘epic meals’, suggesting that it will be a new home for pictures of your plate.
Look’s like Google has found a wonderful way to make use of those infinite photos taken of food! In the past, it was reported that Google was developing a new artificial intelligence project which will identify pictures of food posted on Instagram, and will tell you the number of calories included in that meal.
Codenamed Im2Calories, the potential tool was announced at the Rework Deep Learning Summit. It is believed that Im2Calories can be popular, specifically in the US as obesity remains a crisis.

Cortana Now Available on Android in Public Beta

In May, we announced that Cortana, the first personal digital-assistant who works across your PC & your phone, will be coming to Android and iOS devices. Today, we’re pleased to make the beta of the Cortana app available to all Android phone users.
If you are currently a Windows 10 user, you already know the benefits of Cortana. The Cortana app on Android is the companion to your Windows 10 PC, extending Cortana’s functionality across any device you carry, everywhere you go.
The Cortana app can do most of the things Cortana does on your PC or on a Windows phone. With the app, you can manage your hectic lifestyle by setting and getting reminders, searching the web on-the-go, tracking important information such as flight details as well as starting and completing tasks across all of your devices.
Cortana food image
Cortana image 3
Cortana image 2
Since we launched the closed beta, we’ve also made several improvements to the experience including the ability to set Cortana as the destination for the home button press. Now access to your personal digital assistant is just a button-press away.
You will also see a few differences between what Cortana can do today in her “native” environment (Windows) and in the app on Android. For example toggling settings, opening apps or invoking Cortana hands-free by saying “Hey Cortana” are only available on Windows for now. As with all betas, we are continually improving the experience and will incorporate feedback along the way.
Users can access the Cortana app for Android via this link. Cortana on Android is currently available in the U.S. only, but we are planning to roll it out to other markets. Stay tuned for more details.

Microsoft: Xbox One Doing Things That 'Can't Be Done' On PS4

The Xbox One begins this fall in a less than enviable spot. One the one hand, it’s doing just fine as a product: it’s selling well, it’s selling better than the Xbox 360 was, and it’s becoming an increasingly important part of Microsoft MSFT +2.38% broader plans for Windows 10 across platforms. On the other hand, all success comes in comparison to Sony PS4, which has dominated current-gen console sales since day one and is poised to do so for the foreseeable future. But that underdog position has made Microsoft hungry, and the tech giant has used its considerable resources to invest in exclusive games from both first and third party developers in an attempt to recover from a disastrous reveal. Last week, gamesindustry.biz had an interesting interview with Xbox executive Kudo Tsunoda, who hammered home the point that Xbox One, despite overwhelming similarities to the PS4, is continuing to evolve and add functionality.
“It’s a really unique value that only we can offer. You still need very gamer-focused values, but there’s lots of things you can do with our technology. We’ve really got a lot more going on [than our competitors]. We’re doing things that can’t be done on any other console,” he told gamesindustry, talking both about technical capabilities and exclusive games. “There’s a reason we’re able to put on two shows of content together. We’ve got seven exclusives coming this holiday, and then everything coming in 2016. Not just the blockbusters, but the ID@Xbox games, the indie games. We’re giving people a lot more.”
His point about exclusive games is a valid one, albeit only in a certain context. Microsoft has more exclusives for this holiday season, but these things have a way of working themselves out: PS4 seems less attractive when Rise of the Tomb Raider hits shelves, but infinitely more so when Uncharted 4 does the same. Exclusives are an arms race of sorts: at this point, it’s going to be very hard for either company to gain a true advantage, but they need to keep trucking to avoid losing.
Tsunoda’s enthusiasm may be a bit premature — right now, I still see the differences as primarily aesthetic, though Xbox One’s backward’s computability will definitely be a thing soon. Going into the future — the long future, probably — I think Tsunoda may be right about certain capabilities the Xbox One will have as part of the Windows 10 ecosystem that neither the PS4 nor any non-Microsoft console will be able to match. Things like robust/extensive cross-play with PC, PC game streaming and, hopefully, a more robust cross-buy system with PC, will be serious advantages for the Xbox One going forward. By that point, however, the PS4 will likely have continued to shore up its massive install base lead, leading to all sorts of secondary advantages with exclusives, third-party development and more.
The PS4 is winning the console war, and will continue to do so. Microsoft has rightly chosen to not be particularly conerned about this, however. This is the company that makes Windows, and not the company that makes Xbox, and I’m most interested to see how best it can use all of its various platforms to provide a great ecosystem for gaming going forward.