voice control

Galaxy S8 Bixby Voice: How to get started

Galaxy S8 Bixby Voice: How to get started

This week Samsung's Bixby Voice feature begins to roll out to users everywhere - here's how to get it. This system is a relative long-time-coming, when we consider how long it was since Samsung revealed the feature for the phone. Just as the phone itself was first announced, so too was Bixby's ability to speak with its master - you, the owner of the Galaxy S8.

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Alexa’s newest ability: telling you when Amazon orders are out for delivery

Alexa’s newest ability: telling you when Amazon orders are out for delivery

Amazon may be keeping busy lately by expanding its Echo line of devices, along with Alexa, the voice assistant that powers the devices, but the connected speaker has received a small but useful new feature this week. Simply put, Alexa can now notify users when their packages from Amazon are out for delivery, something frequent shoppers can expect to get some use out of with next week's Prime Day sales event.

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Apple VP shares thoughts on voice-powered speakers with screens

Apple VP shares thoughts on voice-powered speakers with screens

In a recent interview with Apple's Phil Schiller, the SVP of Worldwide Marketing shared some thoughts on the state of voice assistant-powered home speakers and how they could be improved by screens, possibly hinting at Cupertino's own debut of a device to compete with the Amazon Echo and Google Home devices. There have been rumors for weeks now about Apple unveiling a Siri-powered connected speaker at WWDC in June, and Schiller's comments seems to indicate that the company has been thinking about a device for some time now.

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Microsoft’s Cortana challenges Siri with revamped iPhone app

Microsoft’s Cortana challenges Siri with revamped iPhone app

iPhone owners are probably most accustomed to using Siri for their voice-powered assistant needs, seeing as how well it's integrated with iOS. However, along with Google, Microsoft's Cortana is looking to make itself a serious alternative on Apple's platform, and the latest update brings it closer to matching iOS's native option. Released on Friday, the new Cortana for iPhone app has been overhauled with a new interface, and includes several new features that make it easier to use.

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Google Assistant coming to Android Marshmallow and Nougat phones

Google Assistant coming to Android Marshmallow and Nougat phones

Good news for Android users who don't own the new Google Pixel smartphone: the voice-powered Google Assistant is finally on its way to more Android devices, specifically those running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and 7.0 Nougat. Before now, the only way to try out the AI assistant was to own a Pixel, a Google Home connected speaker, or use the feature within Google's Allo messaging app.

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TV news mentions Alexa ordering a dollhouse, Echo speakers begin doing the same

TV news mentions Alexa ordering a dollhouse, Echo speakers begin doing the same

In an age where more and more connected devices are getting "always listening" capabilities, our greatest concerns have been about privacy and what's actually recorded. Turns out, what we should've been fearing is our devices listening in and following commands from the wrong thing. This exact scenario became a reality this week when Amazon Echo owners all over San Diego found their speaker ordering dollhouses after hearing "Alexa ordered me a dollhouse" from the TV news.

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Ford brings Amazon Alexa to its Sync 3 vehicles

Ford brings Amazon Alexa to its Sync 3 vehicles

Amazon's voice assistant Alexa is coming to a number of new devices this year — including the smartphone — but Ford will be the first to integrate it into their cars. The two companies announced at CES 2017 that starting later this month vehicles outfitted with Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system will begin working with Alexa from the home, while sometime this summer drivers will be able to speak to Alexa from the road.

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Cerevo Lumigent hands-on: robot spy lamp with a camera

Cerevo Lumigent hands-on: robot spy lamp with a camera

This week at CES 2017 I did not expect to see a robot lamp with a camera with which it could take photos. I also did not expect to see a smart camera lamp with the ability to take commands from its user. Regardless of my lack of imagination, that's exactly what the folks at Cerevo have brought to the halls of the future of technology this week in Las Vegas.

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New Alexa skill has Amazon Echo reading 60,000 recipes

New Alexa skill has Amazon Echo reading 60,000 recipes

The Amazon Echo connected speaker can turn a number of activities into passive ones, such as reading the news or e-books out loud for users, book travel plans, track orders from Amazon, and even send text messages. But one category where the device has been lacking is in looking up and reading cooking recipes. That's finally changing, and just in time for the holidays.

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Amazon’s Black Friday starts early with Alexa’s Voice Shopping

Amazon’s Black Friday starts early with Alexa’s Voice Shopping

Starting this morning Amazon is making certain Black Friday shoppers are spending cash as early as possible with "voice shopping weekend." To do this, they're running a deal in which Amazon Tap is a bit cheaper than normal, and a few more deals can be found by asking Alexa devices. Users that have an Alexa-enabled device should ask, "Alexa, what are your deals" each day - but make sure not to say "what is YOUR deal," because that means something different.

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Big Mouth Billy Bass makes for the best Alexa hack

Big Mouth Billy Bass makes for the best Alexa hack

Alexa, Amazon's digital voice assistant that powers the Echo connected speaker, has already been used in a number of homemade hacks, such as using it to control a power wheelchair, remote start a car, and even have a Tesla Model S back out of a garage. But none of those compare to developer and artist Brian Kane's latest use of the technology: getting Alexa to speak through a Big Mouth Billy Bass animatronic fish.

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Skype for Business comes to Mac, Skype iOS gets Siri messaging support

Skype for Business comes to Mac, Skype iOS gets Siri messaging support

Microsoft's messaging and video calling platform Skype has released two updates heading into the weekend, one each for the Mac and iOS. The first isn't technically an update, but a brand-new app for the desktop: Skype for Business, the platform's service that focuses more on inter-office communication and productivity, along with heavy Office integration. The second is an update the regular Skype app on iOS, which introduces the ability to send messages by dictating them to Siri.

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