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The Hound virtual assistant app is now out of beta with a version 1.4 update

Even though Google Now is baked in pretty tightly to Android, you don’t have to use it as your go-to voice assistant. Hound is a pretty solid option, and the app just made the leap from beta to a full release.

With the version 1.4 update, Hound will now fetch you an Uber, give you local business listings and ratings from Yelp, and work more quickly and accurately, according to SoundHound.

Much like Google Now and Cortanta, Hound offers you relevant content and performs voice searches.

If you want to try it out, grab Hound now from the Google Play Store. You’ll just need to go through a brief setup process and then you can start giving orders or asking questions.

The story behind the story: In our virtual assistant showdown between Hound, Cortana, and Google Now, the little dog put in a respectable showing. While it doesn’t have the deep OS integration of Google Now or cross-platform support of Cortana, it shows some impressive capabilities thanks to years of research that pre-date the release of the SoundHound music app. Even if you’re still partial to Google, such competition can only make things better.

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