Smart Speaker

New HomePod, iMac, budget iPads are coming later this year

New HomePod, iMac, budget iPads are coming later this year

Despite the lockdowns, quarantines, and shelter-in-place orders, work still has to be done. This is especially true for physical products that have a limited window of opportunity to get out the door. That's harder to do when you very secretive company like Apple that is known for keeping things under tight wraps, or at least as much as they can. The global pandemic has forced Apple to yield some ground and, in doing so, may have also yielded some clues to its upcoming products.

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Amazon Echo and Alexa get users ready for COVID-19

Amazon Echo and Alexa get users ready for COVID-19

Different tech companies have had their own ways to respond to the pandemic gripping the entire world but Amazon may be the one with the largest coverage as far as services and products go. From deliveries to entertainment to smart devices, the retail giant is busy not just responding to the crisis but also responding to criticisms and allegations. Its latest action to respond to the call of the times is to equip Alexa and its line of smart speakers and displays with information and content to keep people connected to the outside world even when stuck at home.

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Bang & Olufsen Beosound Balance smart speaker is striking and expensive

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Balance smart speaker is striking and expensive

Bang & Olufsen has revealed its latest speaker, the Beosound Balance, intended to hold up to scrutiny even when you're not listening to it. A solid oak base, topped with a knitted textile cylinder, it has touch controls and supports multi-room playback through services like AirPlay 2 and Chromecast.

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Alexa’s new features detailed: Severe weather, NBA, and commuting

Alexa’s new features detailed: Severe weather, NBA, and commuting

Amazon rolled out a number of new features for its Alexa personal assistant over the month of February, ones you may not have realized arrived. The new features are convenient for a wide number of users, including for people who regularly commute to work or school, basketball fans, and for anyone who lives in a region prone to severe weather. As previously announced, the personal assistant can also offer 2020 election updates, as well.

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Samsung Galaxy Home Mini throws pre-launch shade at Siri

Samsung Galaxy Home Mini throws pre-launch shade at Siri

The Samsung smart speaker called Galaxy Home Mini leaked in a release-ready configuration today tossing a jab at Apple's smart assistant Siri (unofficially, of course). The video comes courtesy of an unnamed source* who would appear to have been at a location where several new Samsung products were being shown. This new smart speaker will apparently allow you, the user to "make it say literally anything you want" - like what we see in the video below: "At least I'm better than Siri."

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Galaxy Home Mini is finally launching the day after Unpacked 2020

Galaxy Home Mini is finally launching the day after Unpacked 2020

There was a point in time when smart speakers were hot and new and it was the perfect opportunity to join the bandwagon. These days, the market has mostly settled on a few key players and ecosystems, making it harder to break into that market, even if you're someone as big as Samsung. That doesn't seem to faze the electronics giant who will finally be launching its second smart speaker after the first one never launched at all.

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Sonos’ CEO just responded to the legacy speaker fury

Sonos’ CEO just responded to the legacy speaker fury

Sonos has tried to stem the tide of bad press around its controversial plan to leave behind old hardware, after news that it would be ceasing support for some of its earlier connected speakers left the company's loyalest fans fuming. Legacy Sonos products - including the original Play:5 - would no longer get updates from May, the company had warned earlier in the week. Now, the company's CEO says, the plan has evolved a little.

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Belkin Soundform Elite combines a Hi-Fi speaker with a wireless charger

Belkin Soundform Elite combines a Hi-Fi speaker with a wireless charger

Accessory maker Belkin is probably best known for its chargers, cables, and power banks but now it is dipping its toes into a brand new market. It partnered with audio brand Devialet to develop a new audio accessory that doesn't simply connect to a speaker but is a speaker in its own right. And something more up Belkin's alley, the Soundform Elite Hi-Fi smart speaker also doubles as a wireless charger to boot.

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Sonos Recycle Mode bricks still usable devices to trade up to a new one

Sonos Recycle Mode bricks still usable devices to trade up to a new one

As much as we'd love to keep holding to consumers electronics as much as we could, there are times when they just can't move forward any longer. Usually, that takes years of regular use but some manufacturers often give people reasons to upgrade to a new model sooner rather than later. And what better way to do that than by rendering a device completely useless the way Sonos is doing now with its so-called Recycle Mode.

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Echo Dot 3rd-gen drops to 99 cents, but there’s a catch

Echo Dot 3rd-gen drops to 99 cents, but there’s a catch

If you're looking to dive into the world of smart speakers, Amazon has a fairly attractive deal on offer. It's dropped the price of the 3rd-generation Echo Dot down to 99 cents, and while we're used to seeing the Echo Dot offered on the cheap, Amazon doesn't typically cut the price this low. As with most offers that sound great on the surface, though, there's a catch to go along with this deal.

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Galaxy Home Mini IR blasters will turn the speaker into a universal remote

Galaxy Home Mini IR blasters will turn the speaker into a universal remote

The smart speaker market is in a bit of flux. From Canalys' latest numbers, it does seem to be growing and yet, at the same time, other brands are left in the dust of Amazon's lead. It might not be an opportune time for Samsung to finally launch its long-overdue Galaxy Home smart speaker, especially considering how Bixby is practically dead in the water. If, however, the Galaxy Home Mini does launch soon with this feature, it could have an advantage no other smart speaker has.

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Google smart speakers can now play pre-recorded bedtime stories

Google smart speakers can now play pre-recorded bedtime stories

Google has introduced a new tool called 'My Storytime' that enables parents to read stories to their children even if they're in a different location. The feature works with the new My Storytime website, where adults can upload audio recordings of themselves reading a story. When requested, a Google smart speaker will play this audio, enabling distant parents to stay connected with their kids in a unique way.

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