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Articles Tagged:

voice assistant

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Fail: Bixby won't launch with voice controls on the Galaxy S8

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has plenty of great features - the edge-to-edge "Infinity" display, top-end specs, configurable software navigation buttons, and more. Samsung's Bixby voice assistant has been a bit controversial, as most of its functionality is already available in Google Assistant and the Google Now feed. Now it looks like a major component of Bixby won't even be ready before the phone's release in the United States.

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Cortana 2.6 lets you ask questions from the lockscreen, officially lands in Australia

Earlier in March, Cortana got updated on Android to version 2.5 with one important feature: optional lockscreen integration. This allowed users to swipe from their lockscreen to reveal their personal feed including calendar appointments, news, and contextual information they might need. However, it didn't include the ability to interact with Cortana or ask it questions.

With today's update to v2.6, that is now possible. You can ask Cortana questions, set reminders, and more without unlocking your device first. It's more about convenience and less about security I presume. There are also improvements to the way the Cortana home feed is displayed on Android, easier ways to set reminders and lists without using voice, and a few other enhancements.

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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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