Motorola’s X8 chip may be the first to feature always-on voice recognition in a very efficient way that doesn’t drain the battery life, because they managed to add 2 custom DSP’s to the Qualcomm SoC, but it won’t be for long, because Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 800 chip will also come with this feature as standard, in all phones that will be using it, as PhoneArena is reporting.
Since the Snapdragon 800 is poised to dominate the flagship smartphone market in the coming months, this means Google Now adoption and usage could explode. Then as more people will use it in all sorts of places, the Google Now branding will strengthen, too, and more people will know about it, just as they know about Siri.
Motorola’s Moto X commercials should also help with that, as touchless control, combined with Google Now, is one of its main features and Motorola will need to promote that heavily while it’s still a unique feature of its phone, and before others have it, too.
However, I also think this was Google’s plan, too, and will continue to be in the future: using features in its Motorola devices that can become popular, and then get all the other Android OEM’s to adopt them, because the customers are asking for them. At the very least, they won’t be trying so hard to stock Android features, 3 levels deep under their skins, to give preference to their own alternatives. I’d say Samsung is the worst offender here, as it has even cloned some of Google’s services and products, and then put them front and center on their devices.
With Samsung as the #1 company in the Android market, it’s a lot harder for Google to push the features they want, but with a Motorola that is at least top 3, or even #1 in the Android market, Google would have a lot more flexibility to set the standards they want for Android phones. Today that feature is the touchless control through voice recognition and the chips that make it possible. Tomorrow it could be something else.