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15 Oct 2014OK COMPUTER

Talking on your phone is old news. Talking to your phone is the big new thing, and very much a feature of iOS, Windows and Android systems. It’s all very clever, and increasingly so. A recent study put the three main voice-controlled search engines through their paces, asking them a range of over 3,000 specific questions. Of the three, Google Now came out on top, with an almost 90% success rate. Just as impressive is the fact that this is available for free, right now, via the Google Play app store. We’ve tested it on our Android handsets and it works really well.

The Google app has recently been updated to make travel planning easier, from finding restaurants, bars and places of local interest, to reminders for your flights, car rental or other reservations. There is no need to inform your phone of every little thing you’re doing, such as which country you’re in and the name of the hotel you’re staying at. Your phone already knows where it is (and where it is not), and if you’ve used it to book any of your reservations or flights, it uses that information to your best advantage. So the only thing stopping you now is the feeling of awkward self-consciousness that comes with talking to an inanimate object.