Torque, Microsoft’s Various To “OK Google,” Now Works On Android Smartphones

Torque, Microsoft’s Alternative To “OK Google,” Now Works On Android Smartphones

Microsoft this morning has launched an app for Android smartphone customers referred to as Torque that permits you to shake your telephone to be able to carry out a voice search, just like Google’s “OK Google.” The distinction is that as an alternative of waking up the app with a regular key phrase command, it’s the shaking movement that as an alternative does the trick. Additionally like Google, Torque will present a lot of “prompt solutions,” together with issues like particulars on native flights, inventory costs, sports activities scores, climate, close by eating places and extra.

Torque itself was truly launched again in October, however on the time was solely supported on choose Android smartwatches. The app then was activated with a wrist flick. Nevertheless, smartwatches are nonetheless a distinct segment market, so it is sensible for Microsoft to broaden its help to smartphones as properly. (The unique app has been obtain beneath 10,000 occasions, to provide you an concept.)


The launch, out at the moment on Google Play, additionally features a few extra on the spot solutions, together with flight standing stories and information on native occasions. These solutions and different outcomes are powered by Bing search.

Early testers reported some bugs with the primary model of the app correctly responding to their wrist actions, or detecting their voice, however general the app has an honest three.9 (out of 5) star score on the Android app market after some 240+ evaluations.

That Microsoft is actively creating Android purposes outdoors of its firm’s flagship software program merchandise like Microsoft Workplace, Xbox, OneDrive or Outlook, for instance, could also be information to some. However Torque is consultant of Microsoft’s newer considering which sees the corporate trying to interact with the broader cellular ecosystem.

The Torque app was developed by Microsoft Storage, a gaggle exploring, experimenting with and releasing cross-platform shopper purposes. The group, which grew out of Workplace Labs in 2009, is about connecting Microsoft engineers and its engineering tasks with clients to see how its applied sciences are acquired.

“From a buyer’s perspective, it’s a very nice approach to get first entry to rising applied sciences. And from Microsoft’s perspective, it’s actually a good way to get actual suggestions from actual clients on how individuals are utilizing issues,” stated Jeff Ramos, Supervisor of The Storage in a weblog publish from October.

Torque, Microsoft’s Alternative To “OK Google,” Now Works On Android Smartphones

The unique Torque app was inbuilt three months’ time as a aspect venture created by Xuedong Huang, Jiaping Wang, Lingfeng Wu and Wayne Xiong from Microsoft Storage who labored with different Microsoft researchers on the twist-to-activate movement. Huang has labored with voice applied sciences for a while, having based Microsoft’s speech recognition analysis and improvement efforts within the early Nineteen Nineties.

Along with Torque, the group has rolled out a lot of different purposes, together with Mouse with out Borders (permits you to management four computer systems with a single mouse and keyboard); Bus Alarm (alerts that inform you when your bus is arriving); Journeys & Notes (a social journey log app for Android); Subsequent Lock Display (an Android lock display providing fast app launches and different notifications); Voice Commander (a voice-managed Xbox recreation), and lots of, many others. If apps don’t work out, the Storage group strikes on, constructing on prime what they’ve discovered as they transfer ahead.

With one thing as crucial as cellular/voice search, nevertheless, one would think about Torque is the sort of undertaking Microsoft needs to get proper.