voice control

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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Skype for iOS updated with Siri support

Skype for iOS updated with Siri support

Now that Apple's iOS 10 has been out for over a week and is making its way to most users' iPhones, lots of popular apps are updating to take advantage of the software's new features. One such release is today's update for Skype, which allows the app make use of the new Siri API for third-party developers. Now users can ask Siri to place a Skype call to someone without even opening the app.

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Apple reportedly testing its Siri-powered smart home speaker

Apple reportedly testing its Siri-powered smart home speaker

Amazon may have flopped with its attempt to get into the smartphone game with its own Fire Phone, but the company has found a sure-fire hit in its internet-connected Echo smart speaker. Now others a rushing to play catch-up, including Google with its own Home device, and, if rumors are true, Apple has a product brewing that will use Siri to control a home's lights, appliances, and other connected products.

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Bragi The Headphone debuts along with Bragi OS update for The Dash

Bragi The Headphone debuts along with Bragi OS update for The Dash

Bragi first surfaced with its Kickstarter campaign for it smart wearable device called The Dash. The Dash hit Kickstarter back in 2014 and was notable for having no wires and using an in-ear design along with the Bragi OS inside to make the wearable smart. Bragi is back with a couple announcements including a new set of headphones simply called The Headphone and an OS update for The Dash.

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