Jul 2nd 2015

Who will win in the final battle: Smartphone-based personal assistants, or smartphone Keyboards?


Hey guys,

We are excited to announce, that earlier this week, engadget published an article by our very own CMO Oded Llios, “Does Siri Proactive Spell the End of Keyboards?”
As keyboards are becoming more and more contextual awareness, being able to process the user’s input, integrate with other apps, and are built to maximize productivity. The possibilities of their usefulness are becoming nearly boundless.

Here are the first two paragraphs of the article:
“At last month’s WWDC, when Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior VP of Services and Software, stepped on stage to demonstrate the powerful new capabilities of the enhanced version of Siri, he walked into his own worst nightmare. Asking the personal assistant to “play that song from Selma” Siri thought for a moment and then starting playing “Selene” by Imagine Dragons. After an awkward pause, Mr. Cue tried it again, with Siri (thankfully) getting it right on the second try. While there certainly are a number of really impressive features that Apple included in the new Siri (cleverly named Siri Proactive), Siri’s very public failure underscored one of the biggest problems that voice-enabled personal assistants still are plagued with: they just don’t get you…yet.

Now, just because they are not perfect today, smartphone-based personal assistants – from Siri to Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana – have dramatically improved over the last several years. In fact, they have gotten so good, that we must ask ourselves: as our personal assistants become smarter and more accurate, how will this impact our reliance on written forms of communication and will there come a time that we won’t have to rely at all on our keyboards to communicate?…”

To read the full article, click here.

Liron and the Ginger Team

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Jun 18th 2015

Texting, is it a formal way of communication?


Hey guys,

When I was in high school, texting in class wasn’t that common. While most of my friends did have a cell phone, we usually left them in our bags, and had fun passing notes to each other in classes.
WhatsApp hadn’t been invented yet, and since our parents paid our phone bill, we needed to make sure that we didn’t exceed our payment plan by sending too many texts.

Today, things have changed. A recent study found that cell phones are now being used by 91% of American adults. Among young adults, between the ages of 18 to 24, it’s even higher, with an astounding 97% penetration rate.
However, across all the age groups, texting is still the most popular smartphone activity people engage in (more than 81%).

Technology has undoubtedly reshaped the way society communicates, namely among the younger generation. If once, people actually wrote complete sentences while texting, nowadays young adults don’t even write complete words. Instead, they use emojis, stickers, LOL Speak and other abbreviations to convey their thoughts.

The problem is that young adults don’t perceive casual written communication (especially digital communication, such as emailing and texting) as formal writing.
For them, it is simply another way to speak to people that is distinctly separate from formal writing.

As a result, some believe that the English language is deteriorating, however, others believe texting has created a new sub-language, “text-talk” that is used for casual written communication.
No one knows the effect and impact “text-talk” will have on formal communication in the future. However, as technology continues to evolve, we believe that the way our society communicates will change as well.
In the meantime, we need to make sure to keep both formal writing and “text-talk” each in its respective environment, thus making us able to comprehend each language in its context.

For our latest Android version, which includes all the emoji, stickers and GIFs you need, go here.

Liron and the Ginger Team

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Jun 10th 2015

Ginger Presents: “Words Gone Wrong”

words (640x479) Hey guys,

As we all know language is a form of communication, created and used by humans (although, some might say that animals have languages of their own).
A language is formed by words which show give meaning to one’s thoughts. Languages, and especially words, are constantly changing. In many cases, the change is driven by mistakes. These mistakes can derive from mishearing, inversion of sounds, dropping and adding of sounds, and other all-too-human errors.

Below are examples of 7 words that started as errors:

  • Sashay – “To walk, move or proceed, especially in an easy or nonchalantly manner”

This word is a metastatic variant of the French word chassé (“a gliding dancing step, in which one foot is chasing the other”). The “sh” and “s” sounds were switched from the original pronunciation.

  • Tornado – “A localized and violently destructive windstorm occurring over land characterized by a funnel-shaped cloud extending toward the ground”.

This word comes from the Spanish word for “thunderstorm,” tronada. The inversion of two sounds, in this case the “r” and the “o,” is a process known as metathesis.

  • Data –“A collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn”

Often used in the singular, this word is actually a plural, the singular is datum.

  • Varsity – “A team representing a college or university”

This word originated as versity, a short form of the word university. The reason for the vowel changing is unknown.

  • Burst – “Come open suddenly and violently, as if from internal pressure”

This is a clear instance of metathesis, because the Proto-Germanic root is brest. At some point, the “r” sound jumped ahead in the word and the spelling followed suit.

  • Algorithm – “A precise set of rules specifying how to solve some problem”

The Medieval Latin source for this word, algorismus is actually a very bad transliteration of the name of the Arab mathematician who helped introduce higher math to the western world: “Al- Khwarizmi”.

Can you point out more words which started as errors?
Download Ginger, and you’ll never be scared of making errors again

Liron and the Ginger Team.

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Jun 6th 2015

Tetris is celebrating its 31th birthday!


Hey guys,

Today is June 6th and the 80’s popular video game is celebrating 31 years since it was first released.
Designed and programmed by artificial intelligence researcher, Alexey Pajitnov, ‘Tetris’ is a combination of the words “tetra (Greek word meaning “four”) and “tennis (which was actually Pajitnov’s favorite sport).

The game requires that players arrange, rotate, move and drop, puzzle pieces in real time while they fall from the top of the playing field into the rectangular Matrix at increasing speeds. The game features 7 distinctive geometric pieces, each made up of four squares (‘tetra’).

The game quickly became a global sensation, and was played on more than 50 gaming platforms in over 185 countries. So many of us grew up playing this timeless game in arcades, Game Boys and smartphones the world over.

Did you know that Tetris has been included in more than 30 scientific studies over the years? Studies found that playing the game helped the brain to operate more efficiently. In 2009, a formal study found that by playing the game for just 30 minutes a day, the subjects actually thickened their gray matter. This finding lead to the conclusion that the game is responsible for physical-cognitive development that could also improve things like memory capacity. Furthermore, a different study suggested that the game can help treat patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as the game had a “protective effect” on the patients.

Another brain effect of playing the game, is the Tetris effect (or ‘Tetris Syndrome); people who play the game for a prolonged amount of time, begin to pattern their thoughts, mental images and dreams in relation to the game. They actually think about ways different shapes can fit together in the real world, such as buildings, boxes on shelves and may even experience hallucinations of falling pieces.

Although Tetris is not available on Ginger Keyboard for Android, you can find many other old school timeless games to maximize time while messaging.
Go here for our latest version.

Liron and the Ginger Team.

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Jun 1st 2015

Solitaire is celebrating 25 years of procrastination and wasting time at work

SolitaireHey guys,
Most of us have spent hours upon hours playing this popular game. And now, it’s celebrating its Quadranscentennial (or ‘Silver Jubilee’).

Microsoft (the company that gave us games such as Minesweeper, Hearts and of course Solitaire) is celebrating this special occasion by hosting two tournaments:

The first one, is an internal competition, which will find Microsoft’s best Solitaire player within its own employees.
The second, is a worldwide tournament, meant for the public. This tournament will begin on June 5th, and it’ll host the event inside the Windows app.

Microsoft Solitaire was developed in 1989, by then intern Wes Cherry, and was first introduced in Windows 3.0, as both for entertainment and to help new users to get familiarized with the new interface.

You can play your favorite old-school games (Snake, Copter, Squash and 2048) in your very own Ginger Keyboard‘s ‘Games Center’.

Liron and the Ginger Team.

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