Samsung's Note9-revealing Unpacked event just wrapped up, and the company had a few surprises outside the expected big-screen phone. Among them was the Bixby Home, Samsung's first entry into the smart speaker market. Built around Samsung's in-house personal assistant, It's packed with six individual drivers for omnidirectional sound, plus a subwoofer. This time it isn't an April Fools' Day joke, either. Read More
The Google Home Mini is probably the best value smart speaker you can buy. Not only do you get a fully-fledged Assistant experience, but you get okay sound out of it, too. Last Christmas, they went on sale for $30 each, which basically made them an impulse buy. Costco has had a 3-pack for a while now, which dipped down to $100 not too long ago (which was already a great deal). Now, you can pick up this bundle for a measly $80, almost half of what you would spend to buy three Home Minis separately at their $49 MSRP. Read More
The thought of having a personal assistant right in your ears is an exciting prospect, which is why many of us were so hopeful for the Pixel Buds and even Bose's QC 35 II. Ahead of both of those, however, was the OnVocal OV, a pair of neckbuds that came equipped with Alexa. If you're tied into the Amazon ecosystem, then this would be quite appealing. Read More
The next time you run out dish soap, you could add the item to your shopping list via Google Home, or you could ask Alexa to add one to your next AmazonFresh order. You could even pull out a paper and pencil like an Aunt Tillie and write "dish soap" on a real, literal, physical shopping list, before the long and tedious trek to the supermarket. Or, you could grab your magic wand, point it at the empty bottle, and go about your day. Really. That's what Amazon's Dash Wand with Alexa is for, and with a $20 Amazon credit after purchasing, it's basically free. That's magic. Read More
Android co-founder Andy Rubin finally unveiled Essential's much-anticipated new phone today, the almost bezel-less PH-1. In an industry besieged by leaks, it's rare for any device to be launched these days without knowing exactly what it'll look like. Not only did Essential manage to keep the PH-1 pretty much a secret, except for the teaser images they released themselves, they also manage to complete conceal the fact that they would be announcing another full-fledged product at the same time. Much to everyone's surprise, we've now been introduced to Essential Home, the company's smart assistant competitor. Read More
Earlier today Facebook launched their new M assistant service in Messenger on iOS and Android for the US (with other countries to come). Much like Google Assistant in Allo it's meant to drop in at convenient points in a conversation to give you shortcuts and tools to simplify things.
Facebook announced M well over a year ago, jumping a bit late on the bandwagon of personal assistants, but allegedly theirs is at least partially driven or overseen by real living human beings, which sets it apart from the others in no small way. If they manage to leverage enough other modern tech buzzwords like AI, machine learning, and perhaps some synergy for flavor, it may even be of some use. Read More
We've all forgotten to do things that we promised to do. Luckily, we have these fancy personal assistants to help us stay on course. Cortana, Microsoft's offering (and whose name is way cooler than the actual product), is learning via machine learning to remind you of things... without you even asking. Read More
We've known about the Sony Xperia Ear since February when it was announced at MWC along with 3 other prototype projects. At the time, Sony said it was coming late in the summer, but the date was later postponed to November, and here we are. The Xperia Ear is now available for pre-order exclusively on the Xperia Store online in Europe. It'll cost GBP 179 in the UK and EUR 199 in France, Spain, Germany, and other European countries.
So what's the Xperia Ear? It's a Bluetooth headset, but it's not made for music as much as it's a personal assistant living inside your ear. Read More
About two months ago, when Amazon announced two new Alexa-powered devices, the Echo Dot and Amazon Tap, many of you voiced the same thought: this is the kind of product Google should be working on. With "OK Google" commands being some of the most powerful voice search and personal assistants on the market, Google shouldn't have a lot of trouble inviting itself into your home and living room or making automation independent from your phone and more integrated with your life.
At the time, we knew (check Artem's comment) that Google was indeed working on an Echo competitor, codenamed "Chirp," and we were rooting for a Google I/O announcement. Read More
You could think of Cortana as Microsoft Now. We Android users ask Google questions by default, but when you're on a modern Windows device, Cortana's the one who will chime in with an answer.
Microsoft's plans to bring Cortana to Android has been no secret. A leaked APK hit the web back in July. The public beta entered the Play Store around a month later. Now the official release is ready for all. Read More