voice control

Fitbit teams with Amazon for voice-friendly fitness

Fitbit teams with Amazon for voice-friendly fitness

This week the folks at Fitbit have joined forces with the folks at Amazon to bring Amazon Echo voice assistant compatibility to the wearable fitness universe. This setup includes the ability to ask Alexa what Fitbit is thinking. You can't talk directly to Fitbit - Fitbit doesn't even understand what you're saying. That's just silly. You talk to Alexa with your Amazon Echo and Alexa will know what to do. Alexa can speak Fitbit.

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Amazon Echo can now talk finances with Capital One customers

Amazon Echo can now talk finances with Capital One customers

The third-party integrations with the Amazon Echo speaker and its assistant Alexa just keep on coming these days, and the latest is Capital One. Those who use the bank can now take advantage of voice commands to do things like check their account balances, make a payment, and even ask when a bill is due. This makes Capital One the first financial institution to integrate with the Echo.

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Amazon is using Dot to make you more comfortable with Echo

Amazon is using Dot to make you more comfortable with Echo

If you want to get your customers to take your product and utilize all of its features, there are a lot of good ways that you can do it. Amazon has been pushing Alexa pretty hard, and with today's newest additions to the family, they found one way to encourage owners to use their Echo for ordering products from them. And not everyone likes the idea.

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Amazon Tap and Echo Dot join Alexa in the connected home

Amazon Tap and Echo Dot join Alexa in the connected home

In an unexpected surprise this Thursday morning, Amazon has just announced two new devices in its Echo connected speaker lineup. Dubbed the Amazon Tap and Echo Dot, both units feature the Echo's digital assistant Alexa, or connect to it in some way. Both are available for pre-order starting today, although the Echo Dot has a pretty interesting buying process, which we'll get to in a moment.

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SoundHound’s Hound launched to let users ask more naturally

SoundHound’s Hound launched to let users ask more naturally

By now, hands-free, voice-enabled smart assistants like Siri, Cortana, Google Now, and Alexa are no longer alien concept. However, they aren't exactly the easiest people to talk with. One off questions are usually fine, depending on how you phrase them. But carrying on a continuing query is near impossible. That is one area where SoundHound's Hound tries to excel. Now available for public use and with Yelp and Uber integration, Hound promises more a more natural way to ask questions and even refine those questions after they've been answered.

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Google Docs now offers voice commands for editing, formatting text

Google Docs now offers voice commands for editing, formatting text

Apple's Siri is rumored to be on its way to OS X, but Google now offers some impressive voice input features on the desktop through its Docs software. The company has announced the online-based Docs has been updated with new voice recognition software, going beyond the basic text entry feature introduced last September, and now supporting commands for editing and formatting as well. The only limitation at this point is that you need to be using Docs on Google's Chrome browser.

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Apple OS X 10.12 said to feature Siri’s Mac debut

Apple OS X 10.12 said to feature Siri’s Mac debut

It's 2016, and that means Apple is gearing up to announce this year's update to its OS X operating system for the Mac. With the last two years seeing a lot connecting and cross-over features between OS X and iOS in the form of Continuity, how could Apple build on that for another year? It seems that virtual assistant Siri is the next logical step, especially after the fact that Microsoft's Cortana has migrated to the desktop with last year's release of Windows 10.

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Revamped Apple TV remote app for iPhone coming soon

Revamped Apple TV remote app for iPhone coming soon

If there was one negative aspect about the new Apple TV that users discovered at launch, it was limitation on performing searches and entering text with the set-top box's included remote. Fortunately, Apple soon released the tvOS 9.1 update late last year improving voice search capabilities with Siri, and another update is on its way that will allow users to take advantage of dictation for text entry via the remote's mic. But the next big advancement that Apple has planned is using an iPhone to replace the remote altogether.

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Now Amazon’s Echo takes charge of your thermostat, too

Now Amazon’s Echo takes charge of your thermostat, too

Amazon's Echo has added what could be one of its most useful abilities to-date: voice control over your home thermostat. The update, which as with all Echo feature-adds will be pushed out invisibly through the cloud, allows owners of the cylindrical smart speaker to turn the heating up or down simply by calling out.

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tvOS 9.2 will fix the new Apple TV’s big frustration

tvOS 9.2 will fix the new Apple TV’s big frustration

Apple is addressing one of the latest Apple TV's biggest headaches, with a beta of the newest version of tvOS for the set-top box previewing an extra Siri feature. Currently available to beta testers and registered developers, tvOS 9.2 beta 3 includes a number of hotly-anticipated features like homescreen folder support, but it's one simple usability fix that is likely to interest users the most.

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Alexa arrives on Amazon’s first-gen Fire TV

Alexa arrives on Amazon’s first-gen Fire TV

Owners of the first generation of the Amazon Fire TV are in for some good news: Amazon is bringing its Alexa digital assistant to the set-top box with a new firmware update rolling out over the next few weeks. First-gen Fire TV users may have been feeling out of the loop lately, with Amazon focusing on the new 4K model, not mention Alexa already being brought the second-gen Fire TV last fall. Fortunately the voice-based assistant is also coming to the original Fire TV Stick as well.

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Amazon Echo about to control smart thermostats

Amazon Echo about to control smart thermostats

Amazon's strangest product is about to connect to one of the most out-of-nowhere devices in the smart home today. Amazon Echo is said by sources close to the subject (who wish to remain anonymous) to be working with smart thermostats soon. This means that users will be able to ask Amazon Echo's smart assistant system Alexa to turn of their heat or turn the temperature cooler, for starters. After that, the smart temperature is the limit - all you need to do is ask.

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