voice control

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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Android’s new accessibility features has Voice Access control

Android’s new accessibility features has Voice Access control

Google Now might be smart and all that but it's somewhat limited in what it can do when it comes to interacting with the rest of the apps and content on your Android smartphone. It can do searches, take notes, set up alarms, open apps, and some other basic tasks. Once it moves away from that search app, however, you're on your own. Not a problem for people with near perfect mobility, not so much for those with physical disabilities. Google is announcing the start of beta testing for a Voice Access app that addresses that need, allowing users to control other apps using only their voice.

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Build your own Amazon Echo with a Raspberry Pi for $60

Build your own Amazon Echo with a Raspberry Pi for $60

It's amazing how a company can spend a fortune on researching and developing a product, and eventually someone finds a way to make the same thing for far less. Amazon's Echo has been out for a while now, but it still costs $180 for you to get your hands on one. But what if I told you that you could make your own at home for just $60?

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Haiku ceiling fans to add Amazon Alexa voice control

Haiku ceiling fans to add Amazon Alexa voice control

Big Ass Solutions’ Haiku Home ceiling fans will soon have voice control through Amazon Alexa, the company has announced. When the feature rolls around, users will be able to control their ceiling fans using voice commands, turning them on and off, adjusting their light intensity, and changing their speeds. The voice commands can be made using Amazon Tap, Amazon Echo, and Echo Dot.

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