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Articles Tagged:

voice assistant

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Amazon boasts 10,000 skills available for Alexa

Amazon's Alexa assistant has one major advantage over the Google Home (and other competing voice assistants) - the massive amount of third-party skills. Google has a similar developer platform for Assistant, Actions on Google, but the simple fact that Alexa has been around longer means it has a more sizable collection of abilities.

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Adobe's voice-controlled photo editor concept is the good kind of crazy

Photoshop and other Adobe programs are big, complicated, and expensive, the domain of professional graphic designers and photographers. Not everyone can handle them - not even their toned-down "Elements" versions - but Adobe would very much like for everyone to still give them some money. To that end, the company has introduced a concept for what it calls "intelligent digital assistant photo editing." It's a voice-controlled photo editor, and it's kind of insane - check the video below to see what I mean.

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Samsung Pay Mini online payment system and 'Bixby' voice assistant mentioned on beta site

New rule for 2017: every payment system must work everywhere, or at least be offered for every possible merchant. That seems to be the direction that Samsung would like to take, as a new Korean language site for the company has mentioned a different version of its digital payment system, dubbed "Samsung Pay Mini." This payment system would work with any cooperating online merchant, opening up Samsung Pay beyond standard brick-and-mortar transactions, and giving Samsung a lucrative slice of those transaction fees.

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Volkswagen plans to integrate Amazon Alexa with its vehicles

Just yesterday Ford announced that it was planning to bring Alexa support to its cars in the coming months, and now a second auto maker is apparently on-board. Amazon says that Volkswagen has decided to build Alexa into its vehicles and launch a new Alexa skill. There's no information about a timeline or supported models, but it's happening.

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Amazon's Alexa voice assistant is coming to Ford vehicles

Amazon has successfully turned Alexa into a capable home automation and assistant platform, but it's about to branch out from your home. Amazon and Ford are partnering to bring Alexa to the car. Not only can you control your car remotely, you can use Alexa commands while driving it.

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Amazon adds limited context functionality to Alexa, but it's still no match for Google

Amazon hopped on the voice assistant train a few years ago with the Echo, and has since added its Alexa platform to a myriad of products. While Alexa is great at things like controlling smart home devices, its ability to answer multiple queries is not so great. It appears to be getting better, though. Amazon has added some limited contextual awareness to Alexa.

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Cortana app now available in the UK after a user interface refresh in version 2.0

We haven't heard much from Microsoft's Cortana, the voice assistant that's built into Windows 10 and available in app form on Android and iOS, in a while. Amazon and Google, with their respective Alexa and Assistant/Home brands, have been far more vocal in the last few months. Today the Cortana app gets its first major update in the better part of a year. And in a move that probably should have come a lot sooner, the mobile version of Cortana is now available in the UK.

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Actions on Google opens to the public, developers now free to create custom voice actions for Google assistant

The Google assistant makes for a pretty awesome companion on the Pixel phones and Google Home, but it's still young and feels constrained by the very limited number of things it can do outside of Google's sandbox of supported services. During the October 4th announcement, Google declared plans to open up the platform in early December for developers to build their own services. Staying true to that schedule, the Actions on Google platform opened the door today, allowing developers to integrate their services. Google is also launching an early access program to begin testing new features and upcoming expansions.

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Amazon Echo Dot 2nd gen review: A delightful and cheap way to get started with voice assistants

Amazon's Echo success took me a little by surprise. It seemed like we went overnight from questioning the idea of a voice assistant in a speaker to almost everyone owning an Echo and companies rushing to add Alexa support for their services and products. Part of what seemed like a quick success is due to the Echo Dot, the smaller cheaper version that you can sprinkle around the house in places where you don't care about excellent sound quality.

The second generation Echo Dot builds on that. Unlike the first one, you can order it directly from Amazon without having to use another Echo.

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Google is creating an open developer platform called "Actions on Google" to integrate with assistant and an embedded SDK to add assistant to new hardware

Today's announcements by Google have certainly given us a lot to look at in terms of new hardware and features – and possibly a case of sticker shock. But while the show was mostly dominated by new gadgets and demos of Google assistant, there was a really important addition for developers (and ultimately users) at the tail end of the event. Google intends to turn assistant into a major ecosystem for apps and services by opening up the platform to developers.

The platform is called "Actions on Google" and it will allow developers to deliver custom experiences through Google assistant. Google assistant can already take advantage of many existing capabilities like app indexing, deep linking, and even the Voice Interaction API to provide helpful answers and services.

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