Microsoft’s Bing powered voice assistant app, Torque which was earlier limited to Android wear devices, has now been made officially available for Android smartphones. Developed in the labs of Microsoft, Torque offers services like weather updates, sports scores, information about nearby restaurants, stock prices, and more.
Well, you might be thinking how different is this from Google’s ‘OK Google’? Not much. Instead of using standard keyword command to wake up , Torque avails you its services on shaking up the device. All the answers pinging back against your queries are sourced directly from Microsoft’s own search engine ‘Bing’.
The app, originally developed for Android wear devices used similar technique of tracking motion to wake itself up. A simple wrist flick could enable its assistance and listening ability, providing you instant appropriate results.
Torque was developed by Microsoft Garage, a group that develops cross-platform consumer applications. Garage project give outsiders a chance to see what Microsoft employees create inside the company during their free time.
Jeff Ramos, Manager of The Garage, said in a blogpost–
From a customer’s point of view, it’s a really great way to get first access to emerging technologies. And from Microsoft’s point of view, it’s really a great way to get real feedback from real customers on how people are using things.
Microsoft’s efforts to evolve its voice assistant Cortana (available on windows platform) and the introduction of Torque for Android smartphones is in continuation with company’s efforts to increase its presence in the smartphone market as a whole.
Unlike Google, Microsoft doesn’t offer many default apps for its own Windows Phone OS platform. It has been bringing constant improvements in Cortana too, with regular addition of newer countries to the supported list.