voice control

Siri is already teasing its arrival on Apple’s next Mac OS

Siri is already teasing its arrival on Apple’s next Mac OS

One of the more promising rumors we've been hearing as this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is that Apple will bring voice assistant Siri to the Mac in the newest version of its desktop operating system. Turns out, Siri has had the answer the whole time! One user has just discovered that by making requests involving the term "windows" (the UI, not the Microsoft OS), Siri will sometimes respond with references to "Finder."

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Amazon Alexa ramps up to 1,000 3rd-party skills

Amazon Alexa ramps up to 1,000 3rd-party skills

Amazon's line of Echo speakers and the virtual assistant Alexa are constantly getting updated with new features and connected services, but the company has now revealed that the number of third-party skills available has topped 1,000. That's a lot of new abilities for Alexa that developers have created, resulting in useful features like the ability to check bank accounts, make travel plans, and even order a pizza, all via voice commands.

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Google Home a sibling of Chromecast, not Android-powered

Google Home a sibling of Chromecast, not Android-powered

In what came as a surprise to few, last month saw Google announce Home, its entry into the smart-speaker market currently dominated by Amazon's Echo. While a number of the device's capabilities were shown off, including performing Google web searches and managing simple tasks, not a lot of details about the hardware itself has been revealed. While some wondered if the Home's smarts came from being built on Android, the reality is that the speaker is a "dressed-up version" of Chromecast, says news site The Information.

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Five ‘OK Google’ commands that’ll make your life easier

Five ‘OK Google’ commands that’ll make your life easier

The Android smartphone in your pocket is a powerful tool that, when used correctly, could make your everyday life more organized and less chaotic. Do you take advantage of that potential? If your answer's no, keep reading. Google has a slew of 'OK Google' commands and you probably use some of them; if you're like me, though, you may have procrastinated about pulling up the full list of commands and seeing what's available. If so, check out the following five commands that could make your daily life easier.

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Leaked screenshots reveal Siri’s arrival on OS X

Leaked screenshots reveal Siri’s arrival on OS X

We've been hearing rumors about Apple bringing virtual assistant Siri to the Mac with this year's version of OS X (AKA "macOS") for several months now, and with the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) just a month away, some new evidence has surfaced pointing towards an announcement. MacRumors has obtained a pair of screenshots with Siri logos revealing where in the desktop OS's UI users will find the assistant.

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Gboard for iPhone is missing Google’s smartest feature

Gboard for iPhone is missing Google’s smartest feature

Google launches their own keyboard for iOS, creating a conundrum in the minds of both Android users and iOS users alike. For Android users, the question rests squarely in the "why did you favor iOS over your own operating system". That's a question Android fans have been asking of Google developers since they first started releasing apps and software experiences for iPhone back in 2007. For iOS users, the question is of the missing feature from this keyboard - one of the best bits about being an Android user with Google's assistance.

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Amazon’s Alexa will now give you tracking details about Amazon orders

Amazon’s Alexa will now give you tracking details about Amazon orders

It's another week, and that means another update for the Amazon Echo connected speaker with support for a new feature. This time it's the ability for voice assistant Alexa to answer questions about the tracking details on an order from Amazon.com. It's one of those things that seems stupidly obvious once you hear it, and you wonder why this feature hasn't been added sooner.

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Talk to Amazon’s Alexa from your iPhone with the Lexi app

Talk to Amazon’s Alexa from your iPhone with the Lexi app

As we've seen recently, Amazon's digital assistant Alexa is becoming more and more useful with each additional connected service and app integration. The only real limitation is that you be close enough to one of Amazon's Echo smart speakers to give a verbal command. What if you could make use of Alexa from your phone in the same way as Apple's Siri or Microsoft's Cortana? That exactly what the new iOS app Lexi does, allowing you to bypass the Echo altogether.

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Amazon Alexa learns to summon a Tesla Model S

Amazon Alexa learns to summon a Tesla Model S

The autonomous driving features in the Tesla Model S have allowed the car to be summoned from its parking space for several months now, first via the keyfob, and then with an unofficial Apple Watch app. But now it's time to let another device do the summoning for you — like Alexa, Amazon's digital assistant in the Echo connected speaker. That's exactly what developer Jason Goecke has done, allowing him to tell his car to pull out of the garage with voice commands.

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Viv, from Siri’s makers, aims to be a better conversationalist

Viv, from Siri’s makers, aims to be a better conversationalist

Siri may be known for her (possibly even his) sometimes amusing, sometimes cheeky responses, but when it comes doing useful things, she/he/it turns out to be a less capable conversation partner. Sure, she can do some things but only if you ask Siri the right way. And even then, she/he/it can only carry a dialogue only so far, refusing to continue listening even when you're not yet done talking. And at times all that she does is bring up a web search result. These are the limitations that Viv, an up and coming personal assistant, is promised to overcome. And its creators are no other than Siri's creators as well.

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Amazon Alexa comes to 3rd party devices, starting with Triby

Amazon Alexa comes to 3rd party devices, starting with Triby

Alexa, Amazon's voice-based digital assistant that lives inside the Echo line of connected speakers, has finally made the jump to third-party devices, starting with the Triby. It's the first device to make use of Amazon's $100 million Alexa Fund, which helps companies looking to integrate Alexa into their products. Triby, made by France's Invoxia, is a slightly scaled down version of a smart home speaker, but with a focus on being used in the kitchen.

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Amazon Echo’s newest trick: adding events to Google Calendar

Amazon Echo’s newest trick: adding events to Google Calendar

Amazon's smart home-connected speaker Echo continues to get regular updates with new functionality and connected service, including everything from controlling the lights and thermostat, to playing Spotify and ordering a pizza. However, while the Echo, and in turn its digital assistant Alexa, has long had plenty of basic yet useful features like readying the news and sports scores, one limitation has been that it can't schedule new events in Google Calendar. After the latest update, that's no longer a problem.

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