voice control

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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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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