Will Siri ever be as good as the Google Assistant? [Friday Night Fights]

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The gap is getting wider.
The gap is getting wider.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Google brought its Google Assistant to iOS this week, finally giving iPhone fans a taste of the best virtual assistant on the planet. But those on Android are in for so much more, with major improvements on the way, including impressive Google Lens integration.

Friday Night Fights bugThe changes make it harder than ever for Siri to catch up. Despite the improvements Apple made with iOS 10, it still feels like Siri is well behind its rivals. Is that gap now too big, or can Apple catch up? Will Siri ever be as good as the Google Assistant?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we wage war over virtual assistants.

New MacBook Pros as WWDC? Don’t miss this week’s CultCast!

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Are you ready for Apple to make Macs
Are you ready for Apple to make Macs "pro" again?
Photo: Cult of Mac

This week, on The CultCast: new MacBook Pros at WWDC? Insiders say yes! We’ll tell you all we know. Plus: why future Macs might get much faster CPUs; Apple makes a big move to bring manufacturing back to the US; and we’ll wrap up with 5 weird and whacky facts about the new Apple Park campus.

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to accept Apple Pay and sell your wares with your very own Squarespace.com website. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off any hosting plan.

Apple’s new Siri speaker could be revealed at WWDC

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Apple answer to the Echo could arrive in June.
Apple answer to the Echo could arrive in June.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple could unveil its new smart speaker powered by Siri at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, according to new claims.

Earlier this week, we heard the company is currently in the process of finalizing the design of its first standalone Siri device, which is expected to take on the Amazon Echo. Now we have an idea what it might look like and when it could be revealed.

TV shows are coming soon to Snapchat

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Snapchat is taking TV serious.
Snapchat is taking TV serious.
Photo: Snap

Snap Inc apparently wants in on the hottest new trend among tech companies: TV shows.

Following the lead of Amazon and Twitter, Snapchat reportedly plans to start showing vertical short films in its app. Only instead of doing all the work on its own, the company is inking deals with some of the biggest names in media.

The Apple Watch business is way bigger than you think

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apple watch bands
Apple's wearables raked in $5 billion over the last year.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch gets a lot of stick for being a “me-too” product, and people who don’t see the need for a smartwatch assume the business is a bust. There’s this crazy perception that Apple Watch is just not selling — but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Apple Watch, alongside other Apple wearables, is now raking in billions of dollars every year. The business is huge. So huge, in fact, that it would be a Fortune 500 company all by itself, outselling supposed smash hits like Microsoft’s Surface tablets and the Amazon Echo.

Here’s why Apple Watch isn’t the flop you think it is.

HBO plans to pull its shows off Amazon Prime next year

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You'll have to subscribe to HBO Now to see Game of Thrones.
You'll have to subscribe to HBO Now to see Game of Thrones.
Photo: HBO

The battle for video streaming supremacy is already turning allies into rivals.

After making some of its best shows available on Amazon Prime since 2014, HBO revealed today that it does not plan to renew its licensing pact with Amazon once it expires next year.

Learn to code for Alexa and the smart home revolution [Deals]

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CoM - Amazon Alexa Coding Bundle- From Zero To Hero
Learn to code for the device that's leading the smart home revolution.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Like it or not, our houses are getting smarter. If you’re sharp and interested in coding, you’ll want to learn to develop for Alexa, the digital assistant popping up in homes around the world due to the amazing success of the Amazon Echo.

Echo and Alexa are the opening shots of the smart home revolution, and with this bundle of comprehensive coding lessons you can get positioned to make your mark. Right now, you can get access to the whole thing for just $19 at Cult of Mac Deals.

Google Maps, Amazon and eBay quietly drop Apple Watch support

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Support for Apple Watch disappeared in April.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Google Maps, Amazon and eBay have all quietly dropped support for Apple Watch in their recent app updates.

So far, no reasons have been given for the decision, although Google noted that despite removing, “Apple Watch support from our latest iOS release [we] expect to support it again in the future.”