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Topic: Alexa

Amazon allows iPads to make calls through Alexa app to contacts using Echo devices

03/12/2018, 12:03 pm

Amazon has expanded the usability of its Alexa calling and messaging via the Alexa app to tablets, allowing iPad owners to be able to make and receive free calls to and from friends and family members who own an Echo device from the retailer's growing range.


Amazon Alexa's 'Follow-Up Mode' enables successive requests without trigger word

03/09/2018, 08:03 pm

In an attempt to stay one step ahead of the virtual assistant competition, like Apple and Google, Amazon recently released a new feature that allows users to ask multiple questions in succession without repeating the "Alexa" wake word.


Amazon Echo users report strange 'laugh' sound randomly played by Alexa [u]

03/07/2018, 01:03 pm

Reports of a strange error from owners of Amazon's Echo device range have surfaced, claiming the Alexa digital assistant is making an odd 'laugh' sound at random times, with the noises sometimes made without any verbal prompts, commands, or external forces interacting with the voice-activated speakers.


Why Apple's HomePod targets home entertainment, not a voice-first mobile-free world

03/06/2018, 10:03 am

Imagine turning your home into the bridge of the Star Trek Enterprise, where a disembodied voice deftly answers every question you can ask, and you don't carry an iPhone or iPad anymore. Unfortunately, you also can't unlock your doors, you can't go outside, the brands you like are replaced with generic alternatives, and popular games, creative apps and other content aren't available anymore. This is the fantasy future of Amazon Alexa--but fortunately not the vision of Apple's new HomePod.


Smart speaker assistants compared: Siri vs. Alexa vs. Google Assistant

03/05/2018, 08:03 pm

Apple's HomePod brings Siri into the home for the first time, but how does the virtual assistant stack up against established technologies like Amazon's Alexa and Google Home's Google Assistant? We put the latest versions of each smart speaker to the test in this video comparison.


Amazon's Alexa goes quiet on Echo devices amid AWS disturbances

03/02/2018, 02:03 pm

Alexa, Amazon's digital assistant used by the Echo device range, is suffering from service outages that are affecting a number of users in the United States, issues that are likely to be caused by a regional outage of Amazon Web Services in Northern Virginia. (Update from Amazon)


How HomePod serves as a hub for Siri HomeKit automation and entertainment

03/01/2018, 10:03 am

HomePod is a sophisticated computer dedicated to the task of producing immersive, room-filling sound. That's not all it can do, however. Equipped with the same A8 processor as Apple TV 4, it can also serve as a HomeKit hub for choreographing home accessories, even enabling remote access to your devices. Here's an in-depth look.


Amazon acquires smart doorbell manufacturer Ring, HomeKit still on the way [u]

02/27/2018, 04:02 pm

App-enabled doorbell manufacturer Ring has been bought by Amazon, adding to its lineup of security-related home automation products -- but work and certification of HomeKit for the Ring Pro and Floodlight are still ongoing.


Test finds HomePod's Siri 'at the bottom of the totem pole' in smartspeaker AI

02/10/2018, 07:02 pm

While the Apple HomePod is the "best sounding" smartspeaker and has a "measurably better" user experience in many areas, its underlying AI assistant -- Siri -- failed dramatically in a query test versus Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana, according to Loup Ventures.


Stacking up Apple HomePod, Amazon Echo and Google Home

02/08/2018, 09:02 pm

Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple all have voice assistants vying for attention, and all are moving the concept of computer-human voice interaction forward. AppleInsider offers an abbreviated history of how we got here and the capabilities of these assistants and their devices in anticipation of HomePod. What do these things do? What do people use them for? And what is Apple doing differently?


Amazon's Super Bowl ad reveals the same old Alexa ahead of Apple's HomePod

01/31/2018, 11:01 am

After a teaser suggested new voice options could be coming to Alexa, the release of Amazon's full Super Bowl spot reveals it was all just a joke, setting up a primetime ad where celebrities substitute in for Alexa -- and poorly.


Ahead of Apple's HomePod launch, Amazon teases new voices for Alexa

01/29/2018, 02:01 pm

With days to go before the launch of Apple's Siri-powered HomePod smart speaker, Amazon will unveil changes to its own personal assistant, Alexa, likely to come in the form of new voice options.


HomePod, the iPod for your home

01/25/2018, 08:01 am

Consider Apple's release of a new music-oriented device priced higher than its perceived competitors--which have already established an enthusiastic audience base over the past few years. How can it possibly survive in such a difficult position? The answer was: by being better in key ways that matter to users. iPod went on to become a legendary franchise in personal audio. Now Apple is doing the same thing again in home audio with HomePod.


Voice commands coming to Amazon's Alexa app for iPhone & iPad

01/19/2018, 03:01 pm

People wanting to make use of Amazon's Alexa voice assistant will soon be able to talk to it through the company's iOS app, instead of depending on an Echo speaker or other compatible device.


Amazon Alexa making appearance in $1000 Vuzix augmented reality smart glasses

01/05/2018, 03:01 pm

Amazon won't be the first company to deploy its Alexa voice assistant in glasses, with Vuzix stepping up to the plate to do so in mid-2018.


As Apple's HomePod misses Christmas, Amazon Alexa tops App Store charts for first time

12/27/2017, 10:12 am

In a first for the app, Amazon Alexa has topped Apple's U.S. App Store charts, backing claims that the Echo Dot speaker was the top-selling item on during the holidays.


Why Apple's Siri needs to become an 'ambient' ecosystem to compete against Amazon & Google

12/26/2017, 02:12 pm

The HomePod -- now due in 2018 -- will mark Apple's first real attempt at making Siri an "ambient" voice assistant. Arguably, though, the company needs to push a lot harder if it wants people to choose Siri over alternatives from Amazon and Google.


Review: Sonos One brings high fidelity to smartspeakers

12/23/2017, 09:12 am

The Sonos One may be the best smartspeaker you can buy -- and with its pricetag and upcoming features, will probably pose a serious threat to Apple's HomePod.


Apple's HomePod isn't about Siri, but rather the future of home audio

12/02/2017, 03:12 pm

Introduced this summer at WWDC17, Apple's HomePod was immediately positioned next to Amazon Echo and Google Home by bloggers as a "smart speaker" serving primarily as a way to chat with a voice assistant. But that's not how Apple introduced it.


Sonos debuts One smartspeaker with Amazon Alexa, AirPlay 2 & Google Assistant coming later

10/04/2017, 11:10 am

Sonos on Wednesday launched the $199 Sonos One, a smartspeaker with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, as well as support for Apple AirPlay 2 and Google Assistant coming in 2018.