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Google Plans to Make Assistant More Powerful by Investing in Startups

Google invests in startups to make its Assistant smarter

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Google Pixel cameras to have external microphones support. Pixabay
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To make Google Assistant better, the company has announced a new investment programme for early-stage startups to build an enhanced digital assistant ecosystem.

The new initiative will include investment capital from Google to provide additional financial resources for the development, hiring and management of these startups.

The startups will get advice from Google engineers, product managers and design experts to share technical guidance and product development feedback.

“We’re welcoming companies across a diverse range of fields, including startups that are developing technologies that broaden the Assistant’s set of features,” Sanjay Kapoor, Vice President, Corporate Development at Google said in a blog post on Wednesday.

The programme will let startups access to the Google Cloud Platform — the suite of cloud computing services that run on the same infrastructure that it uses for products like Google Search and YouTube.

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Google. Pixabay

The first batch of investments has startups like “GoMoment”, a creator of “Ivy”, a 24/7 concierge for hotel guests, capable of providing instant answers to common questions.

Another early-stage startup is “Edwin” that prepares students looking to take English as a foreign language tests such as the “Test of English as a Foreign Language” (TOEFL).

“Edwin” combines advanced AI technology with the expertise of professional English teachers to tailor lessons according to individual needs, learning style and pace.

“BotSociety” startup has created a tool that allows developers to design, prototype and user test voice interfaces.

Also Read: Google Now Lets You Register Sites Ending In .app

More than 30,000 developers worldwide have designed their voice assistant applications using “Botsociety”.

“With aPulse Labs’, developers can test their applications with real people, quickly acquire in-depth insights, and use that feedback to refine the experience,” Google said.  (IANS)

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Tech Giant Google To Charge $40 Per Device From Android Makers

While Android will remain free and open source, Google will offer separate licenses to the Google Search app and to Chrome

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Google to charge $40 per device to Android makers. Wikimedia Commons

Android manufacturers will have to pay $40 per device to Google in Europe to be featured into Google Play Store and other mobile apps.

According to a report in The Verge on Friday, a confidential fee schedule shows costs as high as $40 per device to install the “Google Mobile Services” suite of apps.

“The new fees vary depending on country and device type, and it would apply to devices activated on or after February 1st, 2019,” the report said.

“Google is also offering separate agreements to cover some or all of the licensing costs for companies that choose to install Chrome and Google search on their devices as well, according to a person familiar with the terms,” it added.

The tech giant however, has declined to comment.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

Earlier this week, Google said it was updating the compatibility agreements with mobile device makers and may ask them to pay a fee for Google Play and other its other Android apps used in Europe.

The move was to comply with the decision of the European Union’s anti-trust watchdog’s decision against Android.

The European Commission ruled that forcing device manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Chrome was against its competition rules and fined the tech giant a whopping $5.1 billion in July (Google has appealed against the ruling).

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With the new changes to Android that will come into effect on October 29, smartphone makers in Europe will need to pay for certain Google apps.

While Android will remain free and open source, Google will offer separate licenses to the Google Search app and to Chrome. (IANS)