YouTube Music is slowly spreading its tentacles and establishing itself as Play Music's successor. While the service still lacks many essential features for some users, it's good enough for others. Its most recent addition is Siri support on iOS — while Android integration with Assistant is still iffy. Read More
Google Voice is quite a convenient service letting you call and text internationally for cheap. It's even a proper phone line replacement for some. There's one thing that we've been waiting for the service to implement forever, though: using your voice to initiate a ... Voice call. That's changing, but only if you have an iPhone or an iPad: In a collective slap in the faces of Android and Nest users, you can now talk to Siri to make calls or send text messages through Google's service. Read More
Voice assistants make our lives easier for the most part. Instead of having to get up to turn on the lights, we can simply ask them to do it for us. Similarly, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa allow you to call businesses via voice, with no need to input a phone number anywhere. There are risks associated with blindly calling unknown numbers, though. According to the Better Business Bureau, some scammers have apparently gamed Google and Amazon's phone number ranking systems. Unsuspecting users could end up talking to an imposter instead of the desired business. Read More
When Amazon upended the publishing industry with the advent of the Kindle, it also paved the way for an approach to luring consumers into a larger sphere of influence, a strategy that is now being successfully adapted for the new age of smart speakers and digital assistants. Both the Kindle and the Echo provide consumers with valuable services, encouraging them to shop and receive content within Amazon's ecosystem. Most of the experiences of its Kindle and Echo hardware also come in the form of apps or services that appear on other manufacturers' devices without additional charge to the consumer, making that connection even stronger. Read More
Cracks fingers. Alright, here we go again, another deal, another post. You can do it, Rita.
Look, I know most of you are just about done with Black Friday, but we do what we do because there are always a few persons who are interested in this deal, as opposed to that deal which others found more appealing. We're here for all. But it's tough to make these posts interesting, especially when the discount is relatively so tiny. Then I remember that Sonos nearly never discounts anything and when it does, it's just as abysmal as the deals today, so here goes... Read More
What do you get when you mix South Park's brand of seething humor, Cartman's childish behavior, and a slew of Google Homes and Amazon Echos? An episode full of big hairy balls and smelly tampon boogers being added to shopping lists, Simon says sentences about stinky poops, many more over the top juvenile jokes, all mixed with some social commentary on the loss of jobs due to automated assistants. Read More
If your Friday morning is groggy and you're impatient to get to the weekend, I have one fun little video for you to watch. Ellen DeGeneres recently took on personal assistants in her show with a brief sketch that mostly joshes on their names. These assistants are still quite dumb right now, but look at what happens when they grow personalities of their own, get possessive, and start fighting for your attention: Read More
Google's speech recognition error rate is getting lower and lower - yesterday, the company said it's now under 5% and has dropped from 8.5% this time last year. And I find that to be more and more the case in my own use: Google seems to recognize almost everything I throw at it now, even when I add Lebanese/Arabic names from my contacts list that I wouldn't expect it to get right.
But if you're wondering how Google's speech recognition fares in comparison to other voice assistants, Wired has made a video in conjunction with Andy Wood and Matt Kirshen (from Probably Science) to show you just that. Read More
JBL makes some killer portable speakers and I'm a big fan of its affordable, stylish, and stellar sounding product lineup. This morning, JBL announced that its latest generation of products is getting even a little better. As of today, JBL's current gen speakers will support Google Now voice integration.
The Flip 3, Charge 3, Xtreme, and Pulse 2 are all compatible with the new update (sorry Clip 2 owners, no support for you). To add the feature, all you need to do is download or update the JBL Connect app on your Android device. Once updated, simply long press the play/pause button on your speaker, wait for the ping, and then state your command. Read More