After announcing the latest iteration of its flagship Android phone the Pixel 4 recently, Google introduces a new voice recorder app for Android with built-in offline speech recognition support. Well, thanks to AI.

The voice recorder app, as seen on the above demo, can transcribe audio recordings in real-time with utmost accuracy. And the best part: it works offline. You can transcribe whatever is being spoken during meetings, lectures or interviews even without internet connectivity.

YouTube Introduces AR Beauty Try-On, A Virtual Makeup Experience that Lets Viewers Try On Makeup Within YouTube App

Google’s newest voice recorder app is a massive upgrade from traditional audio recorder apps, which require decent internet connectivity to enable real-time transcription. And in most cases, the experience can be a bit clunky, unpleasant. That’s because your speech is being processed on a remote server before finally returning the transcribed text.

Search Parts of Recorded Audio by Sounds

The new voice recorder app comes with impressive search functionality too. Imagine you have this 2-hours long recorded lecture and wanted to re-visit that part of the lecture but all you can remember is a phrase or word? You can search by voice and the app will automatically highlight playback bar where those spoken phrases or words are mentioned. No more horizontal scrolling.

Google’s offline transcription technology is made possible by combining the power of real-time speech recognition and AI. And with the company’s unlimited resources being pumped in their Machine Learning department, we can expect a better and heaps clever AI-assisted voice processing in the future.

Google Maps Now Predicts Bus Traffic Delays and Crowdedness in 200+ Cities

So, next time you’re in a meeting or lecture, you can pretty much ditch writing notes and just intently listen to whoever is speaking. Let your Android phone do the note-taking.

Again, the app is initially being rolled out on the new Pixel 4, and the offline speech recognition is currently available in English. But with Google’s intention to reach as many users as possible, we can expect it to support other devices and other languages.

Google Launches New Recorder App with Realtime Offline Transcription Support

artyline converts sketches to interactive prototypes

The latest advancement of AI continues to offer us a whole new way to experience our digital lives. We’ve seen how Google predicts traffic delays & bus crowdedness, well, thanks to AI. We’ve also seen how YouTube enables you to virtually try on makeup and help you with your purchases decisions, thanks to its immersive AR Beauty Try-On.

With millions of power users’ growing appetite for anything automated, it’s not difficult to imagine a future where mundane, routinary tasks are being kept to a minimum. And fact is : it has already begun.

One of the coolest finds we’ve come across is Artyline, a free iOS & time-saver app that converts hand-drawn sketches into digital equivalent in realtime. All you have to do is to give a good scan on your sketches and you’re done.

Not everyone will appreciate this app, but such an app comes in handy if you’re an app developer or designer who wants to skip NinjaMock or any online mockup tools to quickly visualize your ideas.

Why Artyline is such a great app

The trouble with hand-drawn sketches is that it can potentially be misunderstood by most clients who normally aren’t adept in UX design elements. So whether it’s a simple app or not, the best way to present your idea and get their approval is to give prototypes as realistic as possible.

Excel Gets OCR Support, Lets You Snap Tables and Convert Into Editable Spreadsheet

With Artyline, generating prototypes is as simple as scanning your sketches and you immediately get an interactive version of our mockup. Think of it as an additional team member in your UX / design department where design sketches drawn from whiteboard or paper are quickly converted to digital formats. So you’d come well-prepared when meeting your client to discuss the next big app.

Artyline limitations

Because Artyline is powered by AI, it has a limited set of training to recognize basic shapes and transform them into design elements. Good thing is Artyline has this easy-to-follow guideline to make your sketches more recognizable by their AI.

Pro Tip: Use markers instead of writing pens. Don’t use pencils as they’re too illegible to recognize by Artyline scanner.

Artyline is still in its infancy and got tons of areas to improve especially in the execution side. However, I can’t easily denigrate an app idea this good just because of those hiccups. So, we are still impressed.

Give your app designs workflows an upgrade. Get this iOS app while it’s free. Thank me later!

Download: Artyline [Apple App Store]

Finally, An AI-Powered App That Transforms Sketches Into Interactive Digital Prototypes in Realtime

Google Maps Predicts Bus Traffic Delays

Google introduces a few updates to its Google Maps iOS and Android apps that give commuters live traffic delays updates for buses as well as predictions how crowded your bus or train will be all in real-time.

The updates are welcome addition to Google Maps app that proves useful if you constantly commute your way around the city, helping you see the bus delays and how long it will be as well the recalculated time it takes to get from point A to B. With those live information at your fingertips, you can manage and plan ahead your trip; whether it’s a simple trip to your workplace or back to your apartment.

Using Machine Learning to Generate Bus Delays Forecasts

To produce the most accurate bus delays predictions, Google cannot solely rely on transit agencies real-time data. Google combines data syndicated from transit agencies all around the globe and anonymized data collected from commuters who consented to share their data.

Freshly-Minted Google Maps Now Predicts Traffic Delays and Crowdedness in 200+ Cities

Back in October last year, Google Maps began to ask its users who commute during peak hours and prompt them to rate their experience within the app. Relevant transit information such as travel time, distance, and the total number of available seats were also collected.

Long Commute? Get Power Naps and Get A Phone Call When You Arrive At Your Destination

These information collected are all valuable training data that help Google develop a model that predicts crowdedness and delays with increased accuracy, thanks to AI.

If you're curious about the technology behind all this, check this out.

So next time you’re about to leave from work, pull your Google Maps app and see if you should wait a few minutes or squeeze on a crowded ride like a packed of sardines on a hot bus or train.

Be sure to update your app to get this juicy addition from Google Maps.

Freshly-Minted Google Maps Now Predicts Bus Traffic Delays and Crowdedness in 200+ Cities

There's no way to protest that beauty regimen tutorials and makeup reviews are increasingly becoming more popular content on YouTube. Ask any of your girlfriends who are into beauty fad and you'll immediately get a nod they get most of their makeup skills from YouTube.

Thanks to thousands of YouTube content creators who regularly feed viewers with tutorials and beauty products reviews for their millions of followers.

Now, in another Augmented Reality (AR) initiative from Google, the company seeks to give YouTubers a notch higher experience when watching makeup tutorials on its YouTube app. With the launch of AR Beauty Try-On, viewers can now virtually try on makeup within the YouTube app.

Here's How YouTube's AR Beauty Try-On Works

Once available, your iOS YouTube screen will be split into two: makeup tutorial actively playing at the top, a stream from your own front camera at the bottom. And right within that screen, a palate of colors (maybe a shade of lipstick) can be tapped and virtually applied to your own lips and you'll immediately see how it looks on your lips in real-time.

It's really one powerful feature that should help you as a consumer decide what to buy next.

How YouTube's AR Beauty Try-On Benefits Brands

Other than casual customers who turn to YouTube for beauty tips and reviews, there's another real winner here: brands. Brands including M·A·C Cosmetics can easily tap YouTube's pool of influencers and launch AR Beauty Try-On campaigns to promote their products to over two billion monthly viewers.

This Augmented Reality App Lets You Create Your Own Portal, Teleport to New Places (iOS)

Google says it already tested this new, immersive YouTube experience and revealed that 30 percent of viewers activated the AR experience in the YouTube iOS app, spending over 80 seconds on average trying on lipstick virtually.

Source: Google

YouTube Introduces AR Beauty Try-On, A Virtual Makeup Experience that Lets Viewers Try On Makeup Within YouTube App

Whether you're using Instagram for business or not, writing a killer caption and well-optimized hashtags is a must. Ask any Instagram marketer it's second most tricky part immediately next to generating the visuals to post on Instagram.

A good caption should drive user engagements and virality, while a relevant set of hashtags ensures you have the most optimal reach to get the exposure you need. People discover interesting posts thru hashtags, and it's a good opportunity for your brand to get discovered and ultimately earn followers.

While the best way to come up with words to accompany your Instagram post is to write it yourself, it doesn't hurt to try and get some assistance from new breed of apps to do just that.

Excel Gets OCR Support, Lets You Snap Tables and Convert Into Editable Spreadsheet

In this post, we'll be featuring an Android and iOS app that should help you decide what captions to post next.

Caption AI - Your Smart Instagram Caption Assistant ()

Caption AI currently hosts 15,000 captions (and growing) grouped into easy to navigate categories. Running out of caption idea for your next Instagram post? Just launch the app, open an image to post and Caption AI will automatically detect what caption and hashtags to post based on your picture.

Not happy with the generated caption? Just tap on any of the categories like Nature, Fitness, Travel, and Caption AI automatically suggests a caption for you.

Of course the auto-generated captions aren't original. They're mostly coming from third-party sources that curate popular lines and quotes from notable people and writers. Perhaps in the next update the developer gives proper attribution to each line.

This Android app can also suggest the most popular hashtags relevant to your post. So next time you're stuck deciding what to post, check out this app.

Auto Caption - Get Caption Ideas for Instagram (, )

Another app that I am pretty much impressed is Auto Caption for iOS. The moment you open a photo to post, it automatically detects whether it's ocean, mountain or food. Auto Caption will then suggest a caption and hashtags based on what it sees.

It's pretty clever and helpful app ideally recommended for Instagram marketers or casual Instagrammers.

Wrapping it up

Again, the above-mentioned apps aren't for everyone. A more personalized and well-thought out captions will still do wonders in your Instagram marketing efforts. But if doing so takes you forever, then, maybe time to explore those apps?

New AI-Powered Apps Help You Generate Captions, Hashtags for Instagram

Microsoft just rolled out an update to their spreadsheet editing app Excel that allows you to point your phone's camera into printed tables and turn them into editable spreadsheets.

The update is made possible by artificial intelligence (AI) trained to recognize characters and detect datasets inside printed tables before finally importing them as spreadsheets. If you're familiar with how Google Translate app works that translates words in realtime when you point your camera to a foreign text, you can expect the same capability with this update but for printed tables.

The update is first available on Android, but iOS should expect the roll out in the coming days.

How Apple Watch's Fall Detection Saves One's Life and How It Can Save Yours

Excel is not the first app that gets AI treatment from Microsoft. A few weeks ago, Microsoft-owned Skype also gets AI-assisted background-blur support that smartly obscures your often messy, distracting background.

Satya Nadella's helm at Microsoft continues to deliver the much-needed disruptions and innovations. And with its billions of cash being pumped into their Machine Learning (ML) department, we can expect few more nifty advancements in AI in the next few years.

Excel Gets OCR Support, Lets You Snap Tables and Convert Into Editable Spreadsheet

Gone are the days when one has to frantically tidy up his room or home office and make it less embarrassing before the scheduled video Skype call.

Video conferencing giant Skype is rolling out an update to their desktop apps that subtly blur your background in real-time while video chat is underway. It's an experimental feature made possible by Microsoft's proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) trained to detect human forms like hairs, hands, and arms.

Skype's background blur ensures the communication from both parties are as frictionless as possible, free from distractions (read: laundry all over the place) and little surprises (kids), ultimately saving you from the embarrassment in the process.

Here's How To Enable Background Blur On Skype

  1. Ensure you have the most recent copy of your Skype app. Go check your app and see for updates.
  2. Every time you receive or initiate a video call, hover around the Skype video button and toggle "Blur my background".

    You can optionally set this in the app settings if you want to globally apply it in future video calls.

While Skype's background blur experimental feature is as promising as it can get, the video conferencing giant emphasized that it is still in its infancy and that its AI may not always work as expected.

"We do our best to make sure that your background is always blurred, but we cannot guarantee that your background will always be blurred."

See Skype's official announcement here.

Skype Launches Experimental Feature that Blurs Your Background, Thanks to AI